Circus Drive-In

8318 S. March Point Road,
Anacortes, WA 98221

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Additional Info

Functions: Storage

Nearby Theaters

Marquee Circus Drive In Sign

Opened in the late-1960’s by James Bonholzer, who owned a number of theaters and drive-in’s throughout the Pacific Northwest.

The Circus Drive-In would close in 1985. While not a drive-in anymore, the screen and concession stand are still there, but now serves as a scrap yard for buses, RV’s, and campers. Technically it’s not demolished, but I don’t think the current owners plan to move in the near future.

Contributed by John Book

Recent comments (view all 17 comments)

davidcoppock on October 25, 2019 at 9:09 am

Was this drive-in site on indian land before it was built? Why the name Circus?

terrywade on October 25, 2019 at 9:38 am

Most of this area was on Indian land a long time ago now they have to buy It back.

KenLayton on October 25, 2019 at 7:42 pm

I hope someone can save this theater.

terrywade on October 25, 2019 at 8:16 pm

I don’t think the local Indian tribe that just bought the Circus Drive in has any plans to re open the place for movies. They just need the land to expand charity things as they have buildings near the drive in now. There is another still open Drive In in Oak Harbor WA not to far away but with a much smaller square type 4.3 screen. I have been in contact with some local people to try to have the new owners save the giant steel screen tower for future use for the Indian reservation for private outdoor movie entertainment. The wide screen looks to be in great shape, just needs some screen paint and the steel support beams need the rust removed and painted over. Let the classic movies show again for the local Native Americans that live in this area. I wonder If It was a Shelby built screen, looks very sturdy. I think It has lights for intermission above the screen?

R Norenberg
R Norenberg on June 9, 2021 at 10:25 pm

I have read they plan to demolish it for affordable housing….

Jamey_monroe45 on July 11, 2023 at 8:03 am

Sandwiched in between a medical office and Frontier Ford dealership next to Hwy 20 and Thompson Rd, this could possibly be reopened! You heard that right folks!

Except for some ramps obliterated by said office for parking, EVERYTHING IS STILL INTACT! Screens, buildings and all! 😇😇😍😍

Kenmore on July 11, 2023 at 8:47 am

Not gonna lie, it would take some work to re-open this drive-in. The way the parking lot sits, traffic would have to be re-routed to pass in front of the screen and down the south side of the property. And, there is a big pile of dirt in front of the screen that needs to be addressed.

Those are not big issues in an of themselves, but someone will have to crunch the numbers of expected ticket sales vs. cost to determine if re-opening this drive-in is viable.

Seattleprojectionist on July 12, 2023 at 6:56 am

The concession/projection building had a second floor added when the second screen was added. The second floor housed the booth for both screens and a small apartment. The original projection booth on the ground floor was turned into storage. Brenkert BX-80 projectors, RCA soundheads. It’s been some 45 years since I was last in that booth, can’t remember any more details. It was owned by Jim Bonholzer who also operated theaters in Eastern Washington state.

Kenmore on July 12, 2023 at 10:23 am

I’m not seeing a second screen on the property. There appears to be a second screen in the NE corner of the property in a 1981 photo, but it’s long gone. There are good Google Street Views from both north and south of the drive-in and I’m not seeing a second screen.

kennerado on July 13, 2023 at 5:31 am

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but in a May 2023 aerial photo, the screen and concession building appear to have been demolished. You can only see this view on the Google Earth Pro app, it hasn’t been updated on the web version yet.

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