Sundance Kid Drive-In
4550 Navarre Avenue,
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Sundance Kid Drive-In (Official)
Previously operated by: Jack Armstrong Circuit
Functions: Movies (First Run)
Previous Names: Parkside Drive-In
The Parkside Drive-In opened on April 27, 1949, featuring “It Had To Be You” starring Ginger Rogers and Cornel Wilde. The second feature playing that evening was “Key Witness”. The drive-in got its name from being located across from Pearson Metropark in Oregon, OH. It opened as a single screen with a 622-car capacity. It was owned by Jim Dempsey who also owned the Telegraph Drive-In.
Ray Searles purchased the Parkside Drive-In and Telegraph Drive-In from Jim Dempsey. Searles built the Star-Lite Drive-In in Sylvania, Ohio, and also operated the Princess Theatre in Toldeo, Ohio. After his death in 1960, his sons Dan & Edward, took ownership of the theatres. The sons also handled the other family businesses which included a greenhouse and a chain of coin-op laundry and dry cleaning stores.
In 1979 a second screen tower was added to the Parkside Drive-In. The Parkside Drive-In was part of the Co-Operative Theatres of Ohio chain and the Jack Armstrong Circuit, until the Great Eastern Theatre Co. took over management of the drive-in.
In 1987 it was renamed Sundance Kid Drive-In. After 63 years of showing movies, the Sundance Kid Drive-In is still going strong. Originally there were eight drive-in theatres in the Toledo area. The Sundance Kid Drive-In is the last one operating in the area and still screens first-run movies on its twin screens.
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Recent comments (view all 18 comments)
That is good news!
According to Great Eastern this drive-in has been converted to digital projection.
Data dump on the Parkside from my Theatre Catalogs and Motion Picture Almanacs. Note that every source listed it in Toledo.
TC 1949-50: Exec: J. Dempsey, capacity 800.
TC 1952-56: J. Dempsey and Cooperative Ths. of Ohio, 622.
MPA 1953-59: Coop. Theatres, Ohio, 500.
MPA 1963: J. Armstrong, 500.
MPA 1969-76: 500.
MPA 1982: Armstrong, 500. (If the second screen was up, it didn’t notice)
MPA 1984-88: “Parkside 1 & 2”, Armstrong.
Did it ever screen the movie Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid?
To MichiganDriveins.com The Starlite Drive in Marquee was moved to the Parkside (Sundance Kid Drive In) When the Starlite was closed and torn Down. Ed Searles who owned both drive ins had it moved to his Parkside Drive In and had the “Star and Lite” changed to “Park and Side”. Parkside originally had a smaller marquee located on the bottom front of the screen in front and we continued using that for coming attractions etc. for years until it was taken down later on. Also Mike Kilgore, the capacity of the drive in was 840 plus not 500 as listed in your facts book. I was company supervisor for Armstrong Theaters and managed Parkside when we added the second screen. I have pictures somewhere of the second screen and the truck body used for back projection booth before it was installed in back of theater, plus pictures of the marquee when we had Mr No Leggs (Ted Volrath) appearing in person for his movie. Stupidly I have photos of him chopping a potato off my neck with a sword…LOL
Additionally to my above comment, Jack Armstrong operated Parkside, Starlite, Telegraph, Jesse James, Eastside drive Ins from the early 60’s as well as Princess, Esquire, Valentine, Maumee indoor as well as a few other theaters in the area. Parkside and Telegraph were “PT Theaters Inc” DBA “Armstrong Circuit Inc.” I used to deliver concession supplies to all our theaters along with Bill Herring who was General Manager of Concessions for Armstrong Circuit.
Hey Earl64 thanks for update on the marquee’s. I did not know that. But I did wonder why the marquee at the Parkside looked good but it looked funny also. I tell people to becareful using theatre catalogs and MPA’s in theatre reseach.
2022 will likely be the last season for the Sundance Drive-In:
Oregon, OH: After 73 Years, Movies Under the Stars May Be Ending in Oregon [Jun 21, 2022]
It has reported that Sundance AKA Parkside has been saved and will reopen in 2023..
Still has not reopened it is April!