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Arlington Drive-In

1429 South Arlington Street,
Akron, OH 44306

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Arlington Drive-In

The Auto-Voice Movie Restaurant (aka Auto Voice Drive-In) opened on November 12, 1948. It was opened by Andrew and Paul Turchin with Leo Persing. It had a capacity of 76 cars. Ohio Theatre Service was the booking and buying agency and was operated by Lou Ratener and Tony Stern. Ratener was operating the Montrose Drive-In and the Magic Drive-In at this time. They took one of cinema’s oldest ideas and converted it into something new in the motion picture field at that time. In South Akron, they had opened their Auto-Voice Movie Restaurant. A combination roadside refreshment stand and an adaptation of the old nickelodeon where the patron can order a snack and see a film short without getting out of his car. In a three-way wiring operation developed by E .B. Brady of Drive-In Theatre Equipment Co., manufacturers of Auto Voice speakers, a short order can be given over a loud speaker attached to a long cord.

A dime placed in a meter box fastened to a post, turns on the sound for the film which is projected on a screen placed over the restaurant. They only screened standard 35mm short subjects and the customer can see as many shorts as he wishes with each one only costing a dime.

In 1951, the venue had a new operator and was renamed the Arlington Drive-In. The new operator is Herbert Horstemeier, a drive-in theatre movie booker/operator of the Hazelwood Drive-In, Kingman Drive-In and Tri-Vale Drive-In in Ohio. On April 27, the drive-in was broken into by four kids and they smashed every window and all the furniture in the place. The damage was estimated at $5000. That was the end of the Arlington Drive-In/Auto-Voice Movie Restaurant for good. With eight airers open in the Akron area you could get the same thing, food and screen a movie. Thanks goes to the Facebook Drive-In Speaker Post page for some great information and pictures.

Contributed by Randy Studer
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