Sunset Drive-In

4205 W. Chestnut Expressway,
Springfield, MO 65802

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Sunset Drive In Snack Bar & Screen

The Sunset Drive-In opened in 1950 as a single screen ozoner and was operated by Commonwealth Amusement. It closed in 1985 and was later demolished and the property was made into a trailer park.

Contributed by Chuck Van Bibber

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

dabutcher
dabutcher on May 12, 2006 at 5:02 am

When I worked for Commonwealth in the ‘70s, I was sometimes asked to help out at another manager’s theater in an emergency. My most vivid memory of the Sunset (and this was my childhood theater)was a second run showing of “Smokey and the Bandit”. I was asked to rush over to help on opening night. When I arrived, I was stunned to see a line of cars on Chestnut Expressway stretching(I found out later)over three miles! It must have been timing, but the entire run of the show,all summer, was mostly like that. For once in its life, The Sunset had broken attendence and concession sales for the entire chain. I’ve never seen a sight like that again, even opening day of “Star Wars” at my theater, The Queen City Twin.

rick47
rick47 on January 7, 2012 at 6:24 pm

I was a manager in late 69-70.

Stephen D Robertson
Stephen D Robertson on April 15, 2016 at 3:15 pm

I worked in the concession stand at the Sunset Drive-In when I was 16 in 1969. It was my first job. I met my wife there and we are still married after almost 44 years.

NeonMichael
NeonMichael on April 4, 2019 at 7:17 am

An Associated Press story said that high winds knocked down the screen on May 30, 1977.

NeonMichael
NeonMichael on May 14, 2019 at 9:32 am

The Sunset’s first appearance in the Film Daily Year Book drive-in list was the 1951 edition.

In the 1952-56 Theatre Catalogs, the Sunset was owned by Commonwealth, capacity 520.

The Sunset’s first appearance in the Motion Picture Almanac drive-in lists was the 1951-52 edition, capacity 546, owner Commonwealth. That’s how it stayed till 1977, when the capacity changed to 520. Despite its earlier demise, the Sunset stayed on the MPA list through its final edition in 1988.

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