Twin Drive-In

1701 Mercy Health Place,
Cincinnati, OH 45229

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Twin Drive-In

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The Twin Drive-In was a very popular drive-in, the only double drive-in in the Greater Cincinnati area. The screen tower was centrally placed and had a screen on each side. Both screens were 60ft x 120ft wide and you could drive through them at their base to their respective sides of the screen. The screens were named Reading Road West theatre which held 1,000 cars and Ross Avenue East theatre which held 1,348 cars, with in-a-car speakers. Each had their own separate entrances, exits, box offices, concession stands and projection booths. They also featured the Twin Starlite walk-in patios that could seat 800 peiople under the stars. They offered a courtesy car service to both patios from both entrances for people who didn’t drive. Plus, they had a service truck that would change flat tires, have 15-20 gallon of gas and jump start cars with dead batteries. The new twin drive-in was designed by architects William W. Carlton & Associates. It was opened by Rubin Shor dba S & S Amusement Co. Cincinnati, OH.

The west screen opened on May 26, 1949 screening the 1948 musical “When My Baby Smiles at Me” with Betty Grable, Dan Dailey and Jack Oakie. The grand opening for both screens was on July 28, 1949 screening the 1945 musical/drama “The Dolly Sisters” with Betty Grable June Haver and John Payne. Second feature was the 1944 western/biography “Buffalo Bill” with Joel McCrea, Maureen O'Hara and Linda Darnell. In December 1958, new projection equipment to screen TODD-AO films was being installed on the Reading Road West side. Rubin Shor died in December 1959. Peter Palazzolo was a Cincinnati restauranteur who held the major interest in S & S Theatres. He decided to sell all of the theatres. To make the sale happen, he had to purchase all the outstanding stock from the Rubin Shor estate and from the Shor family had of S & S Theatres. Plus all the Shor interests in the Eastern Shopping Center.

In January 1962, all of S & S Amusement Co. theatres were sold to Marshall H. Fine dba Associated Theatres from Cleveland, OH who paid $3.5 million. Fine formed the Cincinnati Theatre Co. to operate his Cincinnati interests. In May 1971 the Cincinnati Theatre Co. sold the Twin Drive-In to Roy B. White dba Mid-State Theatres. The sale also included the Auto-In and the Dent Auto. The Twin Drive-In closed at the end of the 1978 season. After being demolished, it served as a car park for a while.

In 1987, National Amusements built the 12-screen Showcase Cinemas Cincinnati complex on the land. It too has now been demolished.

Contributed by Randy Studer, Marc Edward Heuck

Recent comments (view all 16 comments)

Drive-In 54
Drive-In 54 on June 5, 2012 at 3:46 pm

Aerial view from 1970. National Amusements got out the drive-in theater business at the end 1986. They shut down all three of their DI’S in Toledo, Ohio that year. Looking at the 2012 Goggle earth view it looks like the 12 screen theater that replaced the Twin DI was demolished also. Maybe it was of theaters that they had to sell or shut down to pay off there debt?

jwmovies
jwmovies on December 26, 2012 at 12:51 am

FYI: The other entrance was at approx. 1800 Ross Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45212.

..and yes, The Showcase Cinema that replaced it is now gone too.

myka1319
myka1319 on March 20, 2013 at 9:58 pm

I only lived a block away, it was my childhood going every weekend with my family. PG films on the reading rd side, R rated films on the norwood side . My main memories of course was seeing Bruce Lee films there & at the end of each film there were lights that came on located at the very top of the screen , swings in front of the theater where kids played until it got dark. Good memories .

Mark_L
Mark_L on July 6, 2013 at 5:48 pm

According to the December 1959 issue of INTERNATIONAL PROJECTIONIST, the drive-in was equipped with National 70 (Bauer U2) 70mm projectors.

Cinerama
Cinerama on July 7, 2013 at 3:41 am

Hi Mark,

I would like to see that ad for Cinerama. I have a web site all about Cinerama and would add the ad to the Twin Drive-In.

http://cineramahistory.com/twindirve-in.htm

Thanks,

Roland

rivest266
rivest266 on May 31, 2015 at 5:45 am

Cinerama, have a look at http://www.newspapers.com/clip/2521801/cinemiracle_in_a_drivein/

It is the clipping you been looking for.

rivest266
rivest266 on May 31, 2015 at 8:31 am

May 26th, 1949 grand opening ad in photo section

Cinerama
Cinerama on June 2, 2015 at 3:51 pm

Thanks rivest2666! I’ll add it to the Cinerama web site with my next update.

luluthebeast
luluthebeast on July 10, 2015 at 6:01 pm

If I remember right I got to see GODZILLA:KING OF THE MONSTERS here in the late fifties for my birthday. It was raining and wonderful!

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on March 16, 2017 at 1:40 pm

1962 image added courtesy of Michael Howell‎.

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