Twin City Drive-In

North Market Street,
Champaign, IL

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The Twin City Drive-In opened in September of 1948, with room for about 600 cars. It was the first drive-in theater to open in Champaign county, built at a cost of more than $150,000. The opening film was “Frontier Gal”. Within a month of opening, the size was increased to accomodate 150 more cars due to the drive-in’s popularity.

In 1954, a large Cinemascope screen was installed, as was a playground for children and the concession stand was enlarged. Two years later, burro rides for children were added. During the mid-50s until 1960, the Twin City was operated by the Van Nomokis chain. In 1960, the Kerasotes chain acquired the drive-in (at that time, its third theater in the area, with the indoor Co-Ed and Princess added a few years earlier).

By the end of the 60s, the Twin City had gone from mainly second-run, B-grade Hollywood features and Westerns to mainly horror and adult-oriented films. During the late 70s, a typical double-feature consisted of titles like “Satan’s Playthings” and “Centerfold Spread”.

The drive-in finally was closed by Kerasotes in 1981 and its screen tower demolished not long after, its marquee and concession stands allowed to eventually fall into ruin.

Today, a furniture store is located on the site.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 2 comments)

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on January 20, 2009 at 5:43 pm

Here is an item from Boxoffice magazine, January 1960:

SPRINGFIELD, ILL.-George Kerasotes, president of Kerasotes Theaters, has acquired the Twin-City Drive-In at Champaign from Mrs. Penelope Mandusich, widow of the late Van Nomikos, Chicago exhibitor. Kerasotes will remodel and refurbish the theater. James Ackron of Tipton, Ind., formerly with the Mallon Bros. circuit, will be engaged as manager.

jwmovies
jwmovies on December 25, 2012 at 11:33 pm

Approx. address for this drive-in was 2212 North Market Street.

Now the Salvation Army Thrift Store across from the MarketPlace Mall.

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