66 Drive-In

3675 S. 6th Street,
Springfield, IL 62703

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Aerial of the 66 Drive-In credit Sangamon Valley Collection.

The 66 Drive-In was opened on June 6, 1952 when it was operated by Kerasotes Theatres. It was closed in 1986 and the screen was burnt down in 1991. The entrance is now Fit Club. The field itself is now FedEx.

Contributed by James Monroe

Recent comments (view all 9 comments)

MichaelKilgore on June 30, 2017 at 3:48 pm

The 1982-88 IMPAs list two Springfield drive-ins run by Kerasotes – the Kerasotes Twin (capacity 1400) AND the 66 (capacity 1000). At the position you map, Historic Aerials shows a single-screen layout. Should this be the listing for the 66 and the Kerasotes Twin get a separate Cinema Treasures listing?

DavidZornig on January 16, 2019 at 12:11 am

Drive-Ins.com lists the address as 3675 S. Sixth Street. Correct zip code is 62703 via street view. Opened 1949. Closed 1976. Screen burned down in 1991. 1000 car capacity.


MichaelKilgore on April 18, 2019 at 9:19 am

The original 66 (not Route 66) Drive-In first appeared in the Motion Picture Almanacs in the 1953-54 edition and persisted through the final MPA drive-in list in 1988, always owned by Kerasotes.

It wasn’t present in a 1946 aerial photo of the site, and a 1993 photo showed it in the midst of getting converted to buildings.

MichaelKilgore on June 19, 2019 at 12:07 pm

The State Journal-Register reported on Aug. 3, 1991 that the old screen caught fire on Aug. 1 and was the be demolished. At that time, the drive-in was owned by Midwest Lodging, the parent company of Super 8 Lodge of Springfield, which was using the screen “to prop up a large, lighted Super 8 Lodge billboard, which could be seen from Interstate 55 and U.S. 36.”

The article said that the 66 closed in 1986.

MichaelKilgore on June 19, 2019 at 3:33 pm

The 66 Drive-In opened on June 6, 1952 with Joel McCrea in Cattle Drive and Donald O'Connor in Double Crossbones plus two cartoons. An article in that day’s Daily Illinois State Journal said that its curved screen tower was 80x80 feet, “said to be the largest in the state.” It had 1307 speakers on site, though some of them may have been for the seats “for those who do not wish to remain in their cars.”

Norman Plant
Norman Plant on June 19, 2019 at 11:31 pm

It was on US Route 66.

MichaelKilgore on June 20, 2019 at 8:59 am

As a rule of thumb, the vast majority of drive-ins with a number in their names are on or near a highway with that number. For example, that’s the reason it’s called the 19 Drive-In in Cuba MO.

MichaelKilgore on July 23, 2019 at 2:35 pm

“A large neon sign with 16-foot lettering, was installed at the 66 Drive-In on U. S. 66 south of Springfield, Ilk, owned and operated by Kerasotes and managed by Bill Ford.” — The Independent Film Journal, May 2, 1953

Those letters must have been on the back of the screen tower. The 66’s marquee was magnificent, but its letters don’t look anywhere near that tall.

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