Saturday, July 05, 2014
Aerial of View of the Sandusky Drive-In Theater
According to an article in the May 24, 1948 issue of the Sandusky Register Star News, the Sandusky Drive-In Theater was slated to open at 9:15 p.m. on May 24, 1948. The single feature film on opening night was “Copacabana,” starring Groucho Marx. The movie ran at 9:15 and again at 11:15, along with short subject and news reels. In 1948, the Sandusky Drive-In Theater was owned and operated by the Seitz Amusement Company. The theater was located on a fifteen acre field on Cleveland Road, not far from the entrance to Cedar Point. The Selby Engineering Company erected a 60 by 58 foot steel tower, for a 39 by 52 foot screen. RCA supplied the speakers, enough for 608 cars. There were also speakers for a row of seats in front of the automobiles, for individuals who walked in to view the movie at the drive-in. The Drive-In theater provided inexpensive entertainment, and people could dress very casually. Often children attended the drive-in theater in their pajamas. The Berlo Vending Company provided refreshments in a concrete building below the picture booth where the Simplex projectors were housed. In the 1950s, there were swing sets for the youngsters to enjoy while waiting the for the first movie to begin. Shows were changed three times a week, on Sunday, Wednesday, and Friday nights. The speakers were connected with waterproof wires, so that the movies could be shown even in rainy weather. Eventually there were double features shown at the Sandusky Drive-In. The Sandusky Drive-In Theater closed in 2001. An article which appeared in the May 24, 2010 issue of the Sandusky Register featured memories of a former employee of the drive-in. Tim Bretz spoke about the complex dual projector system which had been used at the drive-in. The Sandusky Drive-In provided inexpensive entertainment to Sandusky area for many season.