Clinton Outdoor Theater

54 Illinois 54,
Clinton, IL 61727

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Additional Info

Previous Names: Family Drive-In, McCollum's Outdoor Theater

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Clinton Outdoor Theater

Opened on September 6, 1950 with Charles Bickford in “Guilty of Treason”. The Family Drive-In was located along Highway 54 East and could accommodate over 450 cars. It was later renamed McCollum’s Outdoor Theater and in 1953 was renamed Clinton Outdoor Theater.

It closed in the early-1990’s, and in 1996, its screen was removed and installed at the Harvest Moon Drive-In in nearby Gibson City as its second screen. In a way, the Clinton Outdoor Theater still lives on at the still-going-strong Harvest Moon Drive-In.

The concession booth and marquee still survive, used by an auction service which operated on the former drive-in site.

Contributed by Bryan

Recent comments (view all 8 comments)

JimCalvin on June 30, 2006 at 9:08 pm

The Clinton Outdoor Theater was owned by Jense Nelson when I was growing up in Clinton. He also owned and operated the Clintonia Theater in town ( /theaters/11552/ ). It was built and owned originally by the builders and owners of the Clintonia, the McCullom family from Hoopston, IL, who also owned the Lorraine theater there ( /theaters/780/ , ). Seen many movies there, including in 1970, Midnight Cowboy. Midnight Cowboy, being rated X back then would not have shown at the Clintonia, only at the drive-in, even though it won the Best Picture Oscar.

buraglio on July 26, 2006 at 6:11 am

I saw a few films there during it’s “resurrection” in the early 90’s. From what I can remember the projection stuff was very old, possibly original. I believe that the owners in the 90’s were the same as the Harvest Moon and that they closed it down in, if I recall, 1994 because of a rash of vandalism and break-ins. AS stated, it’s screen lives on In Gibson City, IL at the Harvest Moon.

Momof3 on June 11, 2007 at 6:42 pm

My husband & i took a trip over to see the wind turbines by Bloomington, IL & wow are they tall, towering over 2 storie homes in corn & bean fields but anyway, we also drove by the Harvest Moon drive in movie theatre & it was playing Surf’s Up & Delta Farce so it’s still going. I hope to get a chance to get over there to see a movie before the mosquitos get thick.


rivest266 on May 26, 2012 at 12:02 pm

1956 aerial photo uploaded in this drive-ins photo section.

jwmovies on September 14, 2016 at 2:00 am

Correction: This drive in was located at what is now Lance Schmid Auctions. Address: 54 IL-54, Clinton, IL 61727.

jwmovies on March 23, 2019 at 2:43 am

UPDATE: The auction at this address is now permanently closed.

Address is correct @ 54 Illinois 54, Clinton IL. Auction used drive in in its name.

Please update.

MichaelKilgore on June 23, 2019 at 5:44 pm

“The name of the Family Drive-In, recently purchased by A. B. McCollum from Frank Stewart of Danville, has been changed to the Clinton Outdoor Theatre. McCollum also owns the Clintonia and Kaye theatres (in Clinton).” —BoxOffice, Sept. 19, 1953

kennerado on July 15, 2021 at 4:54 pm

Opened on September 6, 1950 with “Guilty of Treason”.

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