Diamond State Drive-In

9758 S. Dupont Highway,
Felton, DE 19943

150 cars

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Marquee Last night at the Drive-In with 59 Rambler

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The Diamond State Drive-In opened in 1949. It closed in 1985 after switching to porn movies in 1966. In 1995 the drive-in was refurbished and re-opened, showing first-run family-oriented movies. The Diamond State, the last drive-in movie theater operating in Delaware, closed in December 2008.

Contributed by Lost Memory

Recent comments (view all 11 comments)

muviebuf on November 28, 2008 at 8:33 pm

Saturday November 29th, 2008 will be the final showings at the Diamond State. With the death of Mrs. Steel the lease was not renewed. The heirs felt the property could be better marketed to developers if the drive-in was not operating.

kencmcintyre on November 28, 2008 at 8:36 pm

That’s too bad. I hate to see another drive-in go under.

airgrabber on January 5, 2011 at 11:58 am

Wonder how the heirs are making out marketing this property to potential developers??

airgrabber on July 6, 2011 at 12:22 pm

I was just past the site of this drive-in over the weekend. Appears abandoned. Weeds are growing high and the sign is missing its inserts. Guess those greedy heirs didn’t make out so good marketing the property.

jwheckert on November 7, 2011 at 1:29 pm

The marketing efforts begin and end with an ad on craigslist for the property asking 1 million dollars. It is a damn shame. hopefully someone will be able to restart this drive-in some day. One benefit to the housing crisis is land is tougher to sell and worthless unless its being used. If the lease had expired a year or two later the owners would have begged the Drive in to sign a new lease, but what is done is done.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on January 28, 2012 at 12:26 pm

Parked 150 cars,making it that state’s smallest drive-ins.In 1956 it was owned by Albert Steele.

TheBurristheater on May 29, 2012 at 6:09 pm

Filmed this around late december of 2012. Screen still looked great. Roller rink is shot! Projection room is still there as are the bench seats aside of it. the concession stand was in horrible shape. Talked to the grand Daughter of the owner the day after Christmas and she said they took it off the market and never had anyone intrested in the property. If you look in local paper’s at the time of closing it sounded like a war between them and the renter’s. She said that the people who leased the property stole her Grandfather’s original sign and took other things as well. But the leasor was the one who fixed up the property. ie his stuff! No projectors , but the power units were there. Also found tickets 4 years later in the feild laying in the grass. have some in my house now. It would take little effort to open this again. But money and time and dealing with the owners are again a challenge.

jackalopejess on August 16, 2012 at 9:23 pm

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!

JennyArlette on October 13, 2012 at 2:35 pm

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.

DaLoEnt.com on June 24, 2013 at 2:55 am

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.

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