Holiday Drive-In

2744 E. Kearney Street,
Springfield, MO 65803

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View of  remains of the Holiday Drive-In from above

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Holiday Drive-In opened August 13, 1970. It was a rather large drive-in for Springfield with a car capacity of 529. It was a single screen ozoner. The Holiday Drive-In operated well into the late-1990’s. Originally sound was by traditional pole speakers but later by FM radio. The Holiday Drive-In was demolished in March of 2005.

Contributed by Chuck Van Bibber

Recent comments (view all 10 comments)

tobdogmo1970 on May 21, 2005 at 2:41 pm

the holiday is no more demolished in 2005 march to be exact

dabutcher on April 15, 2006 at 7:04 pm

I would like some clarification. I worked for Commonwealth Amusement Corp as a manager (1976-1979)in Springfield,MO. I was still very young and memories blur,butI didn’t know the Holiday had been demolished,as it was still there two years ago, It was my understanding from my employers then, that the original Holiday, built in the 50’s, had been totally torn down to make way for the new one, opened in 1970 on the same spot. As a matter of fact, I was told that it had been planned as a twin screen,but the Queen City Twin, which I managed, was built instead. If anyone has information to clear up my confusion, I would really appreciate it.

KingBiscuits on August 8, 2006 at 10:31 am

The theatre closed with a double feature of She’s The One and Stealing Beauty according to the picture and sat vacant for many years with the sign intact.

JCperiod on August 13, 2009 at 7:29 pm

SO does anyone know who owes the land now. I am interested in purchasing it to maybe re open it.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on August 29, 2009 at 10:03 pm

The Holiday Drive-In never got mentioned in Boxoffice Magazine prior to 1969, though three other drive-ins operated in that town by Commonwealth were. I don’t think the Holiday dated from the 1950s.

The May 26, 1969, issue of Boxoffice ran an item about the proposed two-screen Holiday Drive-Ins in Springfield. The item said that the Holiday would be Commonwealth’s fourth location in Springfield. The circuit already had the Springfield Drive-In, the High-M Drive-In, and the Sunset Drive-In. A 20-acre parcel had been purchased for the Holiday Drive-Ins, one mile east of Kearny and Glenstone Junction. There was no mention of an earlier Holiday Drive-In.

The item also mentioned that Commonwealth was planning the Queen City Twin Drive-In at the same time. Both projects were designed by Milton Costlow & Associates.

However, after the Holiday Drive-In opened (on August 13, 1970) an item about it in the August 31 issue of Boxoffice made no mention of two screens. The opening feature was “Paint Your Wagon.” The item again mentioned the other three drive-ins that Commonwealth operated in Springfield.

An interesting sidelight to the Holiday Saga is revealed in an item in Boxoffice of August 26, 1968. It said that Commonwealth had begun the construction of a screen tower and other work for a fourth drive-in at Springfield, an 800-car situation to be located on the south side of Sunshine (misspelled Shushine in the item) between Ingram Mill and Blackman roads. This project was apparently not completed.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on August 30, 2009 at 9:38 pm

The problem is that there’s no convincing evidence that there was a Holiday Drive-In at Springfield in the 1950s. Nobody claims to have seen it, or even to have seen ads for it. Everybody is repeating second-hand reports of its existence.

The reports in Boxoffice all point to new construction on a virgin site in 1969 for the Holiday, and the complete absence of any mention of the Holiday in earlier issues of the magazine, when three other drive-ins in town were all mentioned more than once, also makes me skeptical of its existence. Somebody will have to dig up an ad or a directory listing from before 1969, or an eyewitness who actually saw the place before 1969, to convince me that there was an earlier Holiday Drive-In in Springfield.

dcron on June 25, 2012 at 5:58 pm

RE:Commonwealth had begun the construction of a screen tower and other work for a fourth drive-in at Springfield, an 800-car situation to be located on the south side of Sunshine (misspelled Shushine in the item) between Ingram Mill and Blackman roads. This project was apparently not completed.

It was completed and it was called “Queen City” Drive-in. It was a two screen drive-in. Not sure when it closed, but there is a Sam’s Wholesale Club on the site now.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 25, 2012 at 7:36 pm

I didn’t make the connection between the Queen City Drive-In and the project on Sunshine Street because Boxoffice didn’t give the location of the Queen City in the 1969 item about the Holiday, and didn’t give the name Queen City in the 1968 item about the Sunshine Street project; and because Boxoffice said the Queen City was only in the planning stage in the 1969 item when they had said that the Sunshine Street project was already under construction in the 1968 item.

Apparently there was some delay in the construction of the Queen City, as it didn’t open until some time in 1970. I don’t have an opening date for it, but I got the impression from the August 30, 1969, Boxoffice item that the Holiday opened first. The magazine might have just overlooked the opening of the Queen City, though. Not every opening in every city was covered.

Bill Eichelberger
Bill Eichelberger on May 27, 2015 at 9:58 pm

This should actually be listed as 2744 E. Kearney St, Springfield, MO. The coordinates for the remains of the theater are at +37.23926, -93.23691. The sign still exists and says Holiday Theater quite clearly.

rivest266 on July 16, 2017 at 9:19 am

August 13th, 1970 grand opening ad in the photo section.

Found on

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