Sunset Drive-In

7320 N. McCormick Boulevard,
Skokie, IL 60076

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Sunset Drive-In

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Open by 1955, a typical drive-in with concession stand and playground beneath the screen. Located just north of Touhy Avenue and just south of a Metropolitan Sanitary District of Greater Chicago water filtration plant at McCormick Boulevard and Howard Street in Skokie. Closed in the mid-1970’s and replaced by light industry.

Contributed by Eric Vedowski

Recent comments (view all 15 comments)

Leo
Leo on May 28, 2008 at 6:18 pm

The Sunset Drive in was a property of the M&R amusements company they also had the Norridge walk in the Sky High – Twin (wheeling Illinois) BelAir in Cicero Illinois plus the Oriental in downtown Chicago
Got to see the first Air Port Movie ( Dean Martin as the captain filmed at Ohare during the 1967 snow storm)

My Father worked as a usher at the Sunset and I knew the box office and the tower (screen) WELL BOTH INSIDE AND OUT
having put up the signs for the new movies in the 1970’s from the Love Bug to A Clock Work Orange

Was there the day after the concession stand burned to the day it reopened.

Miss the friends we made there,
Dad died in 1976, my now wife of 29 years (2008) went there until in closed, explained to her I have see the drive in go from a family movie place back to the passion pit that it always was – we go on vacation and if their is a Drive-In movie we go.

Puts a smile on both of us – Yes it Nostalgic but is Real Ameican

ChrisB
ChrisB on July 4, 2008 at 8:19 pm

Leo, did your father ever mention the film “A Night at the Sunset” I posted about? I’ve posted to my high school reunion page and they’re trying to find my old cinema class teacher, but no luck yet.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on August 22, 2008 at 10:02 am

It took me a while to track this one down. I saw Clint in “The Enforcer” here when it came out. Or whatever the one with Tyne Daly was. Being an action film, the crowd went out in a haze of gravel when departing.
I had a `56 Plymouth Savoy. It was a minor attraction at the show given it’s age.
But they never checked my trunk.

EricV
EricV on October 9, 2008 at 8:17 am

This M&R theatre opened July 22, 1951 with “Follow the Sun” (bio of golfer Ben Hogan with Glenn Ford & Anne Baxter) as the featured attraction. Other bits from the grand opening ad in the Tribune include:
The world’s largest screen! 48% Larger than any other drive-in theatre screen!
Wider roadways and more space between cars to make parking much easier.
Completely new RCA ramp lighting and numbering that gives the exact location of your car. No more getting lost.
Latest IMPROVED RCA sound and high-fidelity tone speakers.
Last mention I find in the Trib is September 1978 when “Smokey and the Bandit” was playing there. By 1980 Gene Siskel included the Sunset in a list of “long gone” drive-ins in a story he did on outdoor theatres.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on April 14, 2009 at 10:09 am

Reactivate Notification Status

moskos
moskos on March 15, 2011 at 9:34 pm

I saw Smokey and the Bandit there! And Young Frankenstein! I was born in 1971, for what it’s worth. Later I worked at the M&R Evanston.

In 1987, in the middle of the night, I worked cleaning some M&R drive-in way out west (from Evanston). I drunk lots of warm beer that was left behind. It wasn’t fun work.

EricV
EricV on February 14, 2012 at 6:55 am

If you to this website http://www.historicaerials.com/ and enter Touhy & McCormick, Skokie in the box it’ll bring up aerial views-drive in visible from 1952 to 1974.

ChrisB
ChrisB on February 15, 2014 at 10:26 pm

Opening night ad added to Photo section.

Drive-In 54
Drive-In 54 on February 16, 2014 at 4:04 am

Nice looking grand opening ad!! ChrisB

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