Sunset Drive-In

4018 Park Avenue West,
Mansfield, OH 44903

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Co-Operative Theaters

Previous Names: Mansfield-Galion Drive-In

Nearby Theaters

Sunset Drive-In

Opened as the Mansfield-Galion Drive-In on June 19, 1947, screening the 1945 western/romance “Frontier Gal” with Yvonne De Carlo, Rod Cameron and Andy Devine. It was opened/operated by Harold & Ruben Nussbaum. The drive-in had a parking capacity for 500 cars featuring beside the car speakers. Co-Operative Theatres from Cleveland, OH was the buying and booking agency.

The theatre was renamed Sunset Drive-In on April 17, 1953, when it opened for that season. Nelda Spore who was 12 years old in 1960 started selling candy at the concession stand at the Sunset Drive-In, following her mother Dorothy Dent who worked there also. Nelda learned every job, met and married Richard Spore who also worked there. She left to teach, then returned 28 years later and has managed the drive-in ever since, along with her husband Richard. Richard died in 2013 after a long battle with cancer. After the passing of her husband, Nelda retired. Jay Phillips aka Jay Nussbaum is the last surviving brother who owns the Sunset Drive-In, and now he lives in California. He does not want to invest in digital projection equipment and make improvements to the Sunset Drive-In.

The future looks dim for the reopening of the Sunset Drive-In anytime soon. The sun is setting on the Sunset Drive-In and in February 2015 it is “For Sale'. The screen was demolished on April 11, 2023.

Contributed by Randy Studer

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on June 3, 2011 at 9:20 am

I have it parking 500 cars in 1956 and was owned by Coop.Theatre Services.

Chris1982 on October 1, 2014 at 12:12 am

The Sunset Drive-In is closed. They are not sure about next year, they have not made the conversion to digital projection.

rivest266 on June 5, 2017 at 4:11 am

April 15th, 1953 grand opening ad in the photo section.

MichaelKilgore on November 20, 2019 at 8:41 am

The Mansfield News Journal reported yesterday that the Sunset site was purchased by Buckeye Barn Salvage from Jay Phillips, who lives in California.

Buckeye owner Joe Lykins “said he may leave the Sunset sign, which advertised the weekend films, for history’s sake and in honor of Phillips.”

MichaelKilgore on April 12, 2023 at 9:36 am

The Mansfield News Journal wrote today that the former Sunset’s screen came down on April 11, 2023. Owner Joe Lykins said he tried to give the screen away for free, but there were no takers. “People are going to hate me,” he said, noting that he plans to use that spot as a retention pond. I saw no mention of whether Lykins plans to keep the Sunset sign, but it was still standing.

There are a couple of nice videos of the sad occasion on the News Journal site.

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