57 Outdoor Theater

Old State Highway 57 & Ulao Parkway,
Grafton, WI 53024

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LeslieB on March 28, 2018 at 7:24 pm

Marcus Corp. bought the theatre known as Port Outdoor Theatre, in Xonia on March 9, 1960. At the time of purchase it was a 550 car drive-in. They changed the name to 57 Outdoor Theatre. Not sure about the Hwy part. That isn’t listed in my document.

NeonMichael on June 14, 2017 at 9:10 pm

The 1955-56 Theatre Catalog listed the Port Outdoor, Hwy 57, Exec: Erwin L. Nowak, capacity 550.

The 1959 IMPA listed the Port Outdoor in Grafton, capacity 576, owned by Port Outdoor Theatres, Inc.

The 1963 IMPA said the Hy 57 Outdoor in Grafton, capacity 576, was owned by Ben Poblocki. I guess he renamed it after buying it from the corporation. The 1969-76 IMPAs listed it as just Hy 57 in Grafton.

The 1982-88(!) IMPAs list the Highway 57 Outdoor (capacity 600) in neighboring Cedarburg, even though that’s on the other side of Grafton, with owner “Marcus”.

markheller on April 12, 2015 at 1:06 am

I was the projectionist there, from 1973-76. They showed X-rated, when there was a severe ‘slump’. The wooden screen was blown down in a freak April snowstorm, featured on Walter Cronkite’s CBS Newscast, and rebuilt as metal. Two projectors (no pancakes) and carbon arcs. Snack area was adjacent to booth, and toilets. PS. The pay was $15 per night, as it was a ‘non-union’ theatre. At the time, all Milwaukee theatres has union deals…this was one of two ‘exceptions’.

Subcarrier on May 15, 2013 at 4:21 pm

I added some photo scans that I took in 1992.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on January 14, 2011 at 1:25 am

I have it being owned by Port Outdoor Theatres,Inc in 1956.

NYozoner on January 13, 2011 at 7:35 am

That is why I have resorted to using historical aerial imagery to obtain accurate, documented address information for drive-in locations. Address information from 50 years ago is frequently outdated, as roads have been renumbered and renamed over time. People’s memories can also get fuzzy, leading to more erroneous addresses.

NYozoner on January 13, 2011 at 2:48 am

I should also mention that I vigorously reviewed the 1955 aerial imagery for Hwy 57 in the areas around Thiensville, and there was no trace of a drive-in theatre. My conclusion was that the Thiensville address is not accurate.

NYozoner on January 13, 2011 at 2:41 am

Old State Highway 57 & Ulao Pkwy, Grafton, WI 53024

The above address will map to the location of the drive-in.

The 57 Outdoor Theatre was located on the north side of Grafton, which is almost 8 miles further north of Thiensville.

Here is a 1955 aerial photo of the drive-in, located on the west side of Old State Hwy 57, courtesy of Earth Explorer and USGS:


MrDriveIn on December 3, 2008 at 10:16 pm

Any comments or questions regarding any drive-in theater in Wisconsin, please check out my website at
www.drive-inthruwisconsin.com Or contact me at I will give you complete and accurate information about Wisconsin drive-in theaters, just ask. Thanks, Charles Bruss

edwilke on March 9, 2007 at 12:55 pm

Some links about the location of 57 Outdoor Theater.

Topographical map

View link

Aerial view 2000

View link

The projection booth is the small building with a black roof.

Seth on July 24, 2004 at 6:00 pm

Wow, porn at a drive-in! How did they manage that?