Ronnie's Drive-In

5262 S. Lindbergh Boulevard,
St. Louis, MO 63126

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Ronnie's Drive-In

Opened July 15, 1948 by Wehrenberg Theatres, this was most certainly their flagship drive-in theatre. It was named after their grandson Ron Krueger. The Ronnie’s Drive-In had the largest playground of any of the St. Louis area drive-ins. This was also where the Wehrenberg train was located that took patrons for rides around the drive-in before the start of the show and during intermissions.

The main entrance with the back of the screen facing S. Lindbergh Boulevard was lit up with neon spelling in huge letters Ronnie’s Drive-In. The box offices were all dressed in neon also. The front was landscaped with trees and shrubs. This was always a favorite for the people of South St. Louis.

The Ronnie’s Drive-In came to a sad ending in 1983 when it closed and the screen was pulled over. It got a lot of local news coverage when the demolition started. It was considered a south side landmark. There is a shopping center where the theatre once stood and Wehrenberg built their largest multiplex on part of where the entrance to the drive-in once stood, naming it Ronnie’s 8 Cine which lasted a short time and was demolished to make way for the much larger Ronnie’s 20 Cine. In keeping with the fame of the Ronnie’s Drive-In, the Ronnie’s 20 Cine has a motif in the lobby of a drive-in theatre.

Contributed by Chuck Van Bibber

Recent comments (view all 10 comments)

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on March 15, 2006 at 5:44 pm

Another source has this drive-in located in Sappington, which is zip code 63126. As that source also mentions a 1948 opening, my hunch is that this drive-in was on some land contiguous with the two cities.

JAlex
JAlex on December 8, 2008 at 3:15 pm

The proper spelling of the venue includes an apostrophe…it should be Ronnie’s. Fred Wehrenberg named the drive-in after his grandson, Ronald Krueger.

Opened: July 15, 1948.
Last night of operation: September 12, 1982.
Screen tower pulled down August 2nd, 1983 with a shopping center soon to be built on the land. By this time, Ronnie had grown up and was president of Wehrenberg Theatres. He said at the occasion: “My first job working in the theatre business was here at Ronnie’s, running the minature train.”

neinei2
neinei2 on September 19, 2011 at 1:21 pm

How can I get a copy of this photo of Ronnie’s Drive In?

neinei2

Weekend
Weekend on March 11, 2014 at 11:18 pm

Lindbergh and Baptist Church roads.

rivest266
rivest266 on February 24, 2016 at 3:33 pm

July 15th, 1948 grand opening ad in photo section.

jwmovies
jwmovies on December 10, 2016 at 12:56 am

Now Ronnie’s Plaza. Includes Ronnie’s Cine with IMAX.

The address for this Drive-in is 5262 Lindbergh Blvd, St. Louis, MO 63126.

TGIF is next to where the entrance stood. The 20 screen indoor theater is to the east of where the concession stand was located.

Please update.

Bdavis
Bdavis on February 7, 2017 at 5:58 am

I may be totally “mis-remembering” but I seem to rememebr seeing concerts at Ronnies’s when I was a little kid… and I swear I think I remember seeing the Rolling Stones there, in like 1964. Am I totally off base?

MichaelKilgore
MichaelKilgore on November 6, 2019 at 12:21 pm

Indeed, this drive-in site is in Sappington, but that’s just an unincorporated census-designated place in St. Louis County. As jwmovies pointed out, the current indoor Ronnie’s Cinema near the site lists a St. Louis mailing address.

Norman Plant
Norman Plant on November 6, 2019 at 1:15 pm

In the photos section, there are two pictures that I took of the former Drive-In marquee as it was being used to advertise what was showing at the Ronnie’s 20 (until a tornado took it out). The Marquee stood directly in front of the screen, with the entrance to the right and the exit to the left. Current businesses in the plaza can be seen in one photo to the east (Ronnie’s 20) and to the west (TGI Fridays).

St Louis County is separate from the city of St Louis, and there are a number of incorporated towns in the county as well as quite a bit of unincorporated area throughout the county. Those unincorporated areas are listed as “St Louis”. As an example, I live in the Oakville area, but since it is unincorporated my mailing address is considered “St Louis”.

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