Waukegan Drive-In

101 Ambrogio Drive,
Waukegan, IL 60085

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Waukegan Drive-In marquee

The Waukegan Outdoor Theater, as this drive-in was originally called, opened on June 14, 1949 with Randolph Scott in “Canadian Pacific”. It was said to have been the first in the Chicagoland area. There was space for about 900 cars.

It closed in 1988, and was torn down a few years later to make way for industrial development.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 3 comments)

jwmovies
jwmovies on December 31, 2012 at 12:15 am

Above address is incorrect. The location is east of this @ Skokie Hwy just north of Washington, Use 101 Ambrogio Drive to map.

MichaelKilgore
MichaelKilgore on May 3, 2019 at 2:50 pm

This drive-in opened after 1946, when an aerial photo of the site shows a vacant field. Based on its first appearance in the Theatre Catalog, it probably opened in 1949. It was closed by 1988, when another aerial photo shows the screen missing.

The Waukegan Outdoor Drive-In was first listed in the 1949-50 Theatre Catalog at Route 41 & Washington, capacity 1250, owner F. Ryan. The 1952-56 Theatre Catalogs showed it with capacity 772, owner Henry C. Rhyan.

Motion Picture Almanac mentions:

  • 1950-61: 750, Outdoor Amusement Co.
  • 1962-66: 750, Stan Kohlberg
  • 1969-76: 750
  • 1977-82: 900, Brotman
  • 1983-84: 1 screen, Brotman
  • 1985-88: 1 screen, A & B Amuse.
DavidZornig
DavidZornig on May 4, 2020 at 5:25 pm

Opened Tuesday June 14, 1949 with “Canadian Pacific” starring Randolph Scott. Grand Opening Waukegan News-Sun images added courtesy Linda Ambrogio Johnson‎.

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