Clinton Outdoor Theater

Highway 54 East,
Clinton, IL 61727

450 cars

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Clinton Outdoor Theater

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Opened in 1950, as the Family Drive-In, and located along Highway 54 East, it could accomodate over 450 cars. It was later renamed McCollum’s Outdoor Theater and still later, the 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 now operating on the former drive-in site.

Contributed by Bryan

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

JimCalvin
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/ , http://www.lorrainetheater.com/ ). 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
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
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.

Momof3

rivest266
rivest266 on May 26, 2012 at 12:02 pm

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

jwmovies
jwmovies on September 21, 2012 at 8:39 pm

Approx. location of this drive-in was just east of Illinois 54 & 1150 E in Clintonia.

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