41 Twin Outdoor Theatre

7701 S. 27th Street,
Franklin, WI 53132

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dansdriveintheater on November 25, 2018 at 1:15 pm

two vids of the demolition



davidcoppock on March 2, 2018 at 4:43 am

Does anyone know why the concession stand caught fire during the demolition?

DavidZornig on March 1, 2018 at 4:19 pm

1948 photo taken from the roof at the Grand Opening added. Photo credit More Retro Milwaukee Memories

fasterandlouder on April 11, 2017 at 5:48 pm

Update to my earlier post: I just talked to one of the owners of Great Lakes Dragaway last week. The screen that is currently on their property apart is from the old Wheeling Twin drive-in, not the 41 Outdoor.

Drive-In 54
Drive-In 54 on October 13, 2016 at 4:37 pm

I uploaded some pictures from Charles Bruss, he nominated the 41 Twin Theater site to have a historical marker put there so it would never be forgotten. They accepted his nomination and gave him the honor of writing the text that appeared on the marker. It was placed in 2005, at the former site of the 41 Twin Outdoor and current occupant, Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance.

fasterandlouder on October 29, 2015 at 5:30 pm

From what I have heard, the owners of Great Lakes Dragaway bought one of the newer screens(that they had added in 1981)before demo, and brought it back to the dragstrip property. They wanted to add a drive-in there along with the dragstrip but it never came to be. I hear the screen and its parts are still laying apart on the property. Anyone else out there hear about this also?

Drive-In 54
Drive-In 54 on October 5, 2014 at 11:33 am

Just added a aerial from 2000. It is sad they torn the drive-in down with all the vacant land around it. You would think they would have built on the vacant land verses the drive-in. Maybe the owners wanted to get out of the drive-in theatre business also.

Drive-In 54
Drive-In 54 on October 5, 2014 at 11:23 am

Just posted the opening day movie ad. I hope somebody went and took pictures and documented the drive-in before it got demolished.

bob72 on September 8, 2014 at 7:07 am


bob72 on September 8, 2014 at 7:06 am

Here is a interesting Facebook page about a Documentary of the 41 Twin https://www.facebook.com/41TwinOutdoorTheater

rivest266 on October 10, 2010 at 12:09 pm

Grand opening of the world’s most modern drive-in ad is at
View link

woogie2k on December 22, 2009 at 2:14 pm

There are some neat drive-in related shirts on this site:


a nice 41 Twin shirt, and some “Intermission” style shirts.

Cool stuff!

MrDriveIn on December 3, 2008 at 1:48 pm

If anyone has ANY questions on Wisconsin drive-in theaters. Please contact me at www.drive-inthruwisconsin.com or at

To update everyone on some things. The 41 Outdoor as it was called when it opened on July 1, 1948 was the second drive-in theater to open in the state of WI after the Bluemound opened on June 18, 1940. It became the 41 Twin upon opening for the season in 1949. Even after two additional screens went up in 1981, the name stayed the same with only slight variations over the years like, The Giant 41 Twin (Outdoor) etc. The 41 Twin was NOT the first drive-in in Milwaukee or WI to use in-car heaters. That distinction goes to the Starlite Outdoor in Menomonee Falls, WI back in September of 1955 shortly after that drive-in had it’s grand opening on September 2, 1955. The 41 Twin didn’t have in-car heaters until December 25, 1963. Lost Memory posted a link to my website showing the historical marker that I helped get through the Milwaukee County Historical Society as well as original newspaper ads for all WI drive-ins. Originally the 41 Twin had a car capacity of 1,000 cars on each side of the double sided screen tower. When the 2 outside screens were added in 1981, that brought the total car capacity to around 2,700-2,800 cars. Hence the usual reference to almost 3,000 cars.

And last to answer Ken MC, the article in the Appleton Post Crescent on 9/9/59 was referencing the 41 Outdoor theater that was located in Appleton, WI and not the 41 Twin in Franklin, WI. The 41 Outdoor in Appleton, WI did open on April 30, 1949. Hope this helps answer everyone questions.

kencmcintyre on July 30, 2007 at 2:58 pm

There was a story in the Appleton Post-Crescent on 9/9/59 about a fire which destroyed the screen and tower at the 41 Outdoor Theater. Do you think this is the same as the 41 Twin? The story says the 41 Outdoor opened in April 1949.

DavidHurlbutt on March 9, 2007 at 2:40 am

The 41 Twin was Milwaukee’s second outdoor theater. The Drive-In on Bluemond Rd (later known as Bluemond Drive-In)was the first. Along with the introduction of two screens the 41 Twin was the first outdoor in Milwaukee to have heaters available for the cars. Peter Tibbs, now deceased, often told how as a projectionist at the 41 he had to run the length of the theater property from one projection booth to the other to change reels. As shown in the ads provided by Lost Memory the 41 had BUCK NIGHT on Wednesday and Thursday with the admission charge of one dollar per car, all occupants of the car were admitted. This was before the coming of the SUVs and Volkswagon busses.

edwilke on March 8, 2007 at 6:18 pm

Here are links for the 41 Twin Outdoor Theater.

Topographical map 1976

View link

Aerial view 2000

View link

MagicLantern on June 21, 2006 at 11:17 pm

Rather extensive shots of this drive-in and its beautiful marquee can be seen in the film “Deathdream” (1974).

NickCoston on November 14, 2003 at 11:37 am

This property was owned originally James Coston (see “Beverly Theatre”, Chicago) and was part of the Standard Theatres chain until the late 80’s when the chain was sold.

JimRankin on December 25, 2002 at 8:36 am

One more note: the film I remember the most there was the 1956 “Forbidden Planet” with the flaming Id Monster over 50-feet high! I had nightmares for days. Also recall “The Thing” also in flames, and the flames of the burning mansion in “Elephant Walk” will always be with me as I recall the elephants as enormous on that giant screen as they pushed over the stone walls and then walked right through the mansion in flames. The small megaplex screens are no comparison today, and kids don’t know what they are missing. The outdoors didn’t have the grandeur of the Movie Palaces, but they had an atmosphere all their own! There was even a spacial fragrance of the surrounding country fields melding with gasoline vapors and cotton candy and popcorn form the concession stand, an unforgettable mix! I also know a former projectionist from there who one night during a thunderstorm saw BALL LIGHTNING jump from the incoming conduit from the speaker poles and bounce across the floor in the darkened room until it hit the water pipe on the sink and exploded into sparks as it grounded out on it, as he described it. I doubt that ever happened in an indoor theater!

JimRankin on December 25, 2002 at 8:27 am

a P.S. to the previous: I recall many summer evenings at the 41-Twin where my folks took us to usually the South screen (which meant that one faced north, of course) and recall the great times at the ‘Kiddie Land’ amusement area in front of the screen (which was the ‘drive under’ type as one entered past the ticket booth and drove inside (under) the spread base of the double sided screen and spiraled out to the western border as illuminated arrows showed where to turn as they directed one to the back of the lot.) The kiddie land had a merry go round, a slide, a small gasoline train that only ran if an attendant was there to take us on its four cars on a track looping the kiddie land inside its multi-color fence. I remember the refreshments ‘Timer’ that appeared on the screen with a cloying melody on the speakers (so many were left ‘on’ at full volume on the poles that you could hear the show from anywhere outside) and how I raced with my brother to the refreshments stand back in the middle of the lot to get something before the movie started again. When I was younger, I would fall asleep by the end of the first of the always double feature, but as I got older I managed to stay awake through both films, often sitting down at the base of a vacant speaker pole and watching the movies from there. It was difficult to see much of the screen from the back seat, looking between my parents' heads. It was mosquito time, but lots of stinky bug repellent helped for a while. It was the Fourth of July with fireworks there after dark and before the film which I especially enjoyed, this in the early 50s when the then village of Franklin and the town of Greenfield where I then lived, had no fireworks; had to go to Milwaukee parks to see them at the time. Still remember the smell of those summer evenings!

JimRankin on December 25, 2002 at 8:13 am

This was the last outdoor in the Milwaukee area (Franklin is a southern suburb on Milwaukee’s border).