Diamond State Drive-In
9758 S. Dupont Highway,
4 people favorited this theater
Previously operated by: R/C Theatres
Previous Names: Hi-Way 13 Drive-In
News About This Theater
- Dec 5, 2008 — Delaware's last drive-in closes
The Diamond State Drive-In opened August 12, 1949 with Roy Rogers in “Under California Skies” & Lyn Wilde in “Campus Honeymoon”. It was operated by W.C. Evans with a capacity for 350-cars By 1952 it was operated by Mrs. Millie Steel and she was later joined by her husband Albert Steel in the operation of the theatre. It was renamed Hi-Way 13 Drive-In in 1966 when it switched to screening porn movies. It closed in 1985.
In 1995 it was taken over by Donald Brown and the drive-in was refurbished and re-opened again as the Diamond State Drive-In showing first-run family-oriented movies. The Diamond State Drive-In was the last drive-in movie theater operating in Delaware when it closed in December 2008 screening two animation movies “Bolt” & “Madagascar 2”.
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Recent comments (view all 17 comments)
Anybody know if this land is still for sale? Or who to contact? I’ve driven by it recently and it looks in the same state of disrepair. No visible for-sale-call sign from what I could see.
With new tools available (particularly crowdfunding) I’m thinking it wouldn’t be completely impossible to open this place again, but I need someone or something to start with. Any info would be appreciated!
So disapointed they never did anything with this. the origional owners mr. & mrs. steel would not be happy everything they worked for is gone! My mother worked here until the day she died. I have so many childhood memories here & so many memories of my mother. She was so dedicated to the drive inn she worked their for free every weekend just to help out patty Dave and donnie the leasers which by the was are the ones who did all the work restoring the drive inn when it opened back up. Mr. & Mrs. steel loved and trusted them i highly doubt they would steel any signs or whatever u say! They were so deticated to keeping the drive inn going! If i had the money i would open it back up in my mothers memory. when she passed i thought what would my mother want to be after death & the only place i could think of where she enjoyed her life and loved being was the diamond state drive inn so i spread a part of her their and every summer i go their and just sit and remember! Id give anything to have this up and running again.
As far as I know, the marquee was intact when Brown re-opened the Drive-In. Yes, it appears that he did in fact take the sign with him! Brown moved on to the Greenview Drive-In in NY, renting and re-opening for just 2009. He is now operating the Skowhegan Drive-In in Maine, where he has engaged in what is called ‘aggressive panhandling.’ He is playing upon the heart strings of locals, begging for money donations to his for-profit theatre (which he purchased?) to buy digital projection equipment, claiming that the drive-in will close forever if the money is not raised. I was a partner with Brown when we re-opened the Motor-In Theatre in Sutton, MA in 1996. I wish I could find something nice to say about his business ethics.
4/18/15 land still for sale – just think of all that money they could have made if they kept leasing the property as a Drive-In Theater. They could have put a clause in the lease that if it sold that the lease was finished. They would have had a monthly check coming in anyways and Delaware would still have a drive in theater.
August 12, 1949 was opening night. The Diamond State Roller Rink opened in 1954 adding to the entertainment on the property.
The Diamond State Drive In did not switch to porn until at least the mid to late 1970’s.
From about the mid 1960’s until at least the mid 1970’s the Diamond State was leased to R/C Theatres (Roth/Cohen) from the Baltimore/Washington area. Under R/C banner the Diamond State played nothing but low rent ‘Drive-In’ oriented fare such as “Caged Women” “Macon County Line” “Last House On the Left” and other similar Corman New World Pictures/AIP motorcyle and exploitation fare.
the projectonists booth is gone. the concession stand looks like it could fall over at any minute. the marquee and screen apear to be in great shape. though the projectors booth location is easy to identify as the removed the speaker poles and installed them in the shaspe of the old projectors booth!
Opened with “Under California skies” and “Campus honeymoon”. Closed With “Bolt” and “Madagascar 2 escape to Africa”. Also had a roller rink(ice or roller?) building on site(still standing, possibly also closed?).
Diamond State Roller Rink opened behind the screen in 1954. Renamed Hi-Way 13 Drive-in in 1966. Renamed Diamond State Drive-in in 1995. Name at opening in 1949 unknown?
An October 2019 Google Street View shows the screen still intact. The marquee is in pretty bad shape.