Crystal Drive-In

7382 Pingree Road,
Crystal Lake, IL 60014

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Crystal Drive-In

The Crystal Lake Drive-In opened on July 16, 1953 with Randolph Scott in “Hangman’s Knot”. Its name was soon afterward shortened to the Crystal Drive-In. This theater was located on Highway 14 at Pingree Road, in Crystal Lake. It could accomodate about 1,000 cars.

The Crystal Drive-In was still open in May 1977. Today, though vandalized and falling apart, the screen tower still stands, though the Crystal’s concession, projection and ticket structures were long ago demolished. The whole former drive-in property is now very heavily overgrown, though surrounded by ever-expanding residential development.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 13 comments)

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on May 13, 2010 at 11:51 am

They must have expanded the Drive-in.My 1956 Motion Picture Almanac has it parking only 500 cars and was owned by L.&D.Marce.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on May 13, 2010 at 11:52 am

great story Divotking.

TLSLOEWS on May 14, 2010 at 9:52 am

Those were the days.

Capraatt on April 13, 2011 at 8:20 am

Does anyone have any pictures of the drive in? I have searched high and wide for any photos, either while it was operational or after it was closed and cant seem to find anything.

rivest266 on June 25, 2012 at 5:54 am

1962 aerial has been posted here.

jwmovies on March 23, 2019 at 3:10 am

A more accurate address for this theater is 7382 Pingree Rd, Crystal Lake, IL 60014. This points directly to the entrance road. Drive In Ln. is next to where the drive in stood.

Please update.

50sSNIPES on December 28, 2019 at 1:27 pm

Actually, The Crystal Drive-In Opened On July 16th, 1953.

davidcoppock on December 30, 2019 at 9:58 pm

Opened with “Hangman’s knot”.

50sSNIPES on January 18, 2020 at 7:29 am

UPDATE: The Crystal Drive-In Did Not Close In The Early 1970s. As Of May 1977, The Crystal Drive-In Was Still In Operation, I Am Not Sure If Its In Its Last Legs Or Not Because At The Time, The Crystal Drive-In There Started To Play Horror Flicks As Of The Mid-1970s I Believe. So I Believe Since The Late 1970s Or Early 1980s Is When The Drive-In Has Its Last Operations And It Was Closed. As For The Leftovers, The Pathway Was Still A Bit Visible As Of April 1988.

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