Pendleton Pike Drive-In

9300 Pendleton Pike,
Indianapolis, IN 46236

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Pendleton Pike Drive-In

Located in the Lawrence Township district, northeast of Indianapolis. The Drive-In opened June 6, 1940, making it one of Indiana’s earliest drive-ins. It could accommodate 500 cars. Around 1954/1955, it was renamed Pendleton Pike Drive-In. It had a long life, closing in 1993. For many years all that remained was the screen, which was demolished on August 27, 2008.

Contributed by bryan

Recent comments (view all 9 comments)

AndyT on August 10, 2004 at 1:51 am

It got hit by a tornado one summer afternoon in 1974. Minor damage and I think it was open that night.

thejaydubya on May 4, 2005 at 7:21 pm

One of my fondest memories of the Pendleton Pike was going to see a marathon of all five Planet of the Apes films. I stayed up all night watching them while my mom and sister slept after the first or second one. I’ll never forget it!

bigred on January 23, 2006 at 4:41 am

I know it was owned by General Cinema but they didn’t run it to the end. They leased it to a local independent but I can’t think of the name. They were the largest indy in Indiana but had a tendency of not paying employees. I never worked the booth but had been told they had the platter system but the platters weren’t the ones GC had and they were plywood and the roof leaked right over the platters. When GC took it back it spring ‘93 they considered running it themselves but it was going to be to costly to repair the booth and concession area.

Spilner on February 5, 2006 at 2:38 am

Anyone know why this theater was really closed? Was it do to not enough buisness, owners got into debt and couldnt afford it? I remember going to this theater and wish there was one close like that one was and it would be cool if someone opened it back up and got it running again cause I hate going all the way to Tibbs to go to a Drive-In.

rivest266 on July 1, 2012 at 11:30 pm

1971 aerial posted here.

indytbird on April 2, 2013 at 6:59 pm

The site was razed about 2008-09 and a Monarch beverage warehouse was built there.

rivest266 on October 26, 2015 at 9:14 pm

After a few delays, it opened on June 6th, 1940. Grand opening ad in photo section

Richard82567 on March 16, 2016 at 6:32 pm

Screen was taken down on 27 August 2008.

MichaelKilgore on June 8, 2019 at 2:48 am

I can’t find any evidence that this drive-in was ever called the Lawrence. Its name in its grand opening ad is simply Drive-In, and on the first drive-in list in the 1942 Film Daily Year Book as “Drive-In Theater, Pendleton Pike, Indianapolis”.

Spot-checking the Indianapolis Star, in a 1945 ad it’s “Drive-In Theatre, Pendleton Pike”. In a 1948 ad, “Drive-In, Pendleton Pike”. In a 1950 story, “The Pendleton Pike Drive-In Theater”.

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