Big Sky Drive-In

Mineral Point Road and Big Sky Drive,
Madison, WI 53719

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The 1,100-car Big Sky Drive-In opened May 27, 1954, with Debbie Reynolds and Donald O’Connor in “I Love Melvin” & Robert Taylor in “Ride Vaquero”. It was advertised as having a 90-foot shadow box screen, which would help in showing movies earlier in the evening.

The builder was Middleton-Twentieth Century Drive-In Corp, who also operated the Madison Theatre, Orpheum Theatre, Parkway Theatre, Strand Theatre, and Badger outdoor theatre.

According to the Wisconsin State Journal, one of its highlights include April 21, 1957, when 1,325 attended Easter services.

Its location today would be approximately where the Marcus Point Cinemas are but the entrance would have been off Mineral Point Road.

It closed September 8, 1984, with “Bolero” and “Last American Virgin”.

Contributed by Ron Pierce

Recent comments (view all 4 comments)

davidcoppock
davidcoppock on March 31, 2018 at 5:23 am

Whats a shadow box screen?

Kenmore
Kenmore on March 31, 2018 at 5:37 am

A skirt or extension that extends from each side of the screen to help block out the sunlight. The screen faced east which also helped as the sun set in the evening.

A 1957 aerial photo shows what appears to be the shadow box, but it does not seem to be present in a 1969 aerial.

davidcoppock
davidcoppock on March 31, 2018 at 6:08 am

Was there many drive-in’s with shadow boxes?

Kenmore
Kenmore on May 19, 2018 at 4:13 pm

That would require some research.

When you are finished, you can let us know. ;)

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