Moberly Five And Drive Theatre

3000 N. Morley Street,
Moberly, MO 65270

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Moberly Five And Drive Theatre

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Hi Way 63 Drive-In was opened in June 1950 by the B & B chain and remained in business until 1985 and sat unused for a decade on its ten-acre plot of land. It had a capacity for 300 cars.

When B & B decided to replace its two aging downtown movie houses with a new million-dollar multiplex, it was natural that the company consider building on land that it already owned. The drive-in site was considered a good location, but it was larger than necessary for the five-screen theater. Someone at B & B had a bright idea: Build the indoor theater at the back of the lot, and put the drive-in screen back to work as well. The new theater would be called the Moberly Five-and-Drive

While the drive-in’s projection booth had been damaged by vandals, the screen was in good shape: It had been erected before the drive-in’s final season. The original screen was destroyed by a violent wind storm. During this time someone kept the playground in good shape probably for the children in the neighborhood to use.

B & B demolished the old snack bar and projection booth, replacing it with a projector aimed through a window in the new multiplex. They leveled the lot and spread it with gravel.

The five indoor screens opened in March, 1997. Each of them was decorated with a different cinematic theme: Western, Drama, Music, Tara (from Gone with the Wind) and Star Wars. The reconstituted drive-in opened a little later in the spring, just in time for the re-release of “Grease”. A 1950’s-themed grand-opening party proved very popular.

Contributed by Chuck Van Bibber
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