Moberly Five And Drive Theatre

3000 N. Morley Street,
Moberly, MO 65270

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Moberly Five And Drive Theatre

The Hi Way 63 Drive-In was opened in June 1950 by the B & B chain and remained in business until 1983 and sat unused for a decade on its ten-acre plot of land. It had a capacity for 295 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 theatre. Someone at B & B had a bright idea: Build the indoor theatre at the back of the lot, and put the drive-in screen back to work as well. The new theatre would be called the Moberly Five-and-Drive Theatre

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

Recent comments (view all 1 comments)

NeonMichael on April 13, 2017 at 8:21 pm

The 1982 IMPA still listed the Hi Way 63 (with the oddly specific capacity of 295). The 1984 did not list it, which leads me to believe that maybe this drive-in shut down a year or two before 1985.

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