5801 SW 21st Street,
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On July 9, 1949, Boxoffice reported: “John Basham is manager of the new Starlight Drive-In opened July 2 by Claude Parrish and Hugh Wallace near Topeka, KS.”
The Starlight Drive-In was included in the 1950 Film Daily Year Book drive-in list, the second in Topeka after the Community Drive-In.
The 1949-50 Theatre Catalog called it the Starlite Drive-In, capacity 500, owned by Claude Parrish, who also owned the Community Drive-In. By the 1952 Catalog, the capacity was 400, and the owner was John Basham, Jr.
The Motion Picture Almanac also listed the Starlight Drive-In with a capacity of 400. Its final MPA appearance was the 1965 edition.
On Aug. 8, 2018, the Topeka Capitol-Journal quoted local movie historian Joe Zima’s work, “Topeka has been the site of five drive-in theaters … The Cloverleaf Drive-In, Community Drive-In, Chief Drive-In, Corral Drive-In and Starlight Drive-In.” All five were listed in the 1955-56 Catalog.
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