Parkview Drive-In

1206 Alabama Street,
St. Joseph, MO 64504

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Additional Info

Styles: Rustic

Previous Names: Cow Town Drive-In

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Parkview Drive-In

The Cow Town Drive-In opened June 1, 1952, featuring “The Nevadan” from 1950 with Randolph Scott, Dorothy Malone and George F. Slavin. The second feature was “The Big Wheel” from 1949 with Mickey Rooney, Thomas Mitchell and Mary Hatcher. The drive-in was a partnership of Beverley Miller, Mary Belle Miller and Joseph W. Stark from Wichita, KS. In March of 1968, Mid-America Theatres Inc. located in St. Louis, MO. purchased the Cow Town Drive-In. At that time Mid-America owned and operated 20 theatres in MO & IL. On October 15, 1972, the Cow Town Drive-In closed for the season. In the early morning of October 20, 1972, a fire of unknown origin started in the concession stand and it did considerable damage.

On April 21, 1973, the Cow Town Drive-In reopened with a new name, Parkview Drive-In, operated by Mid-America Theatres. New projection equipment was installed and the concession stand was rebuilt. It featured all new soft drink equipment, sandwich warmers, popcorn popper and fry stations.

On June 7, 1977, the ‘R’ rated movie “Smartie Pants” along with a second feature of “The Young Seducers” was screened at the Parkview Drive-In. On July 15, 1977, Clifford Brigman who was the chief projectionist for the drive-in at that time was charged with showing obscene movies. He pleaded not guilty to the charge. The action stemmed from a complaint by Harlan Springs, that the drive-in was showing obscene movies that could be seen by neighborhood children. Harlan Springs had picketed the drive-in with his two sons in June. Mr Brigman was found guilty by a jury and fined $250 plus $50 in court costs. He immediately filed an appeal and in August 1977 the obscenity case was dismissed. The court dismissed the case because the city did not have sufficient evidence to support the obscenity allegation. The city did not have a copy of the movie as evidence. All costs were refunded back to Brigman.

The Parkview Drive-In closed for good on August 7, 1979. It is now a salvage yard.

Contributed by Randy Studer, MikeRogers

Recent comments (view all 19 comments)

Tp on March 24, 2013 at 11:12 pm

I have written documentation from Clifford Brigman widow Fran that he was not the Head or Chief Projectionest that job already belonged to someone else who was already with the Drive-In When he took over as the Head Manager. Clifford Brigman was also the Head Manager of 2 other Drive-Ins the Skylark Drive-In located in Leavenworth Kansas and another Drive-In LOCATED Jefferson City Mo. Due to his busy schedule of being Head Manager for 3 Drive-Ins at one time Clifford Brigman hired an assistant to run Parkview. Years Later after the Parkview Drive In Closed he became the Head Manager of a Twin Screen Drive-In located Springfield Illinois. The Drive-in was not loosing money at the time it closed, i was told it just wasnt making big enough profit.

Tp on October 12, 2013 at 11:20 pm

I now have more proof that the correct address was in deed 1526 Parkview I have uploaded 10 pictures of City Directory located at Downtown Library in St Joseph Mo. Starting with 1972 City Directory when it was first know as the Cowtown. 1979 City Directory when it was last opened and known as Parkview Drive-In also 1981,82,83,84 when it was called Cycle X Motor Cycle Track. Just don’t ever remember this one. From 1985,86,87,88,89 it was shown as being vacant. I’m sorry to say my camera was needed a recharge and was unable to take the 1990 City Directory but I did look at it. That was the year it was listed as Barnard’s Auto Salvage with a address of 1206 Alabama. I don’t know why it changed to 1206 Alabama in 1990. But during the time period it was a Drive-In 1526 Parkview was the correct address. It did not become 1206 Alabama until 11 years after it closed as a Drive-In

Tp on October 13, 2013 at 4:59 am

Update on finding the add for the very last movie shown at the Parkview Drive-IN. I have finished checking the St Joseph Mo Newspress papers for 1980,81,82 which at the time was the evening newspaper did not find anything. I now believe it was posted in the St Joseph Mo Gazette which was at the time the morning newspaper at the time which only ran Monday-Friday. When I talked with Clifford Brighmans Widow she does not remember this so I’M thinking the person MUST of been the Assistant Manager of the Drive-In of who she don’t remember the person’s name. I do remember there was 2 different adds one that was about a week before and then the day of the event and the last movie was The Attack of the Killer Tomatoes and the Wet Teeshirt contest. So Im still looking.

Drive-In 54
Drive-In 54 on October 13, 2013 at 6:22 am

Tp… are correct about the address. It was 1526 Parkwood. But to use the goggle maps feature of CT to map to the correct location we need to use the current address of the property.

Tp on October 13, 2013 at 5:09 pm

I think you ment Parkview not Parkwood the urrent address is 1206 Alabama it became this in 1990. Before 1990 it was 1526 parkview at least from 1952-1989

Chris1982 on October 14, 2014 at 10:32 pm

I was with the understanding that we were to list the address of the drive-in/theatre and not what google maps. (Google maps are horrendously wrong a great number of times.) I am new at this so correct me if I am wrong.

Tp on August 7, 2015 at 9:28 pm

I have solved the address debate the actual address was 1206 Alabama. The street Parkview was a street that ran along side of Alabama with about only 8-10 ft separation between the 2 streets. The Mailbox for mail delivery was located on Parkview Street this address of 1526 Parkview was only used for Mail delivery and Newspaper Adds.

MichaelKilgore on January 5, 2020 at 7:46 pm

The Feb. 6, 1954 issue of Boxoffice ran a full-page profile about the rustic look of the Cow Town. It included several photos, most of which have already been uploaded here.

rivest266 on September 10, 2020 at 12:36 pm

Reopened by Mid-America theatres on April 21st, 1973 as the Parkview Drive-In. Grand opening ad posted.

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