Starlite Drive-In

1925 Burnside Avenue,
Sioux Falls, SD 57105

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Midcontinent Theatres

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Starlite Drive-In

The Starlite Drive-In opened September 16, 1948 with Robert Young in “Relentless”. This was the largest of the various Sioux Falls drive-ins having a capacity for 650 cars. On May 19, 1979 a second screen was added. It was closed July 7, 1985 with Joyce Hyser in “Just one of the Guys” & Jon Cryer in “No Small Affair” in screen 1 and Keir Dullea in “2001:A Space Odyssey” & Drew Barrymore in “Cat’s Eye” in screen 2.

The property is now occupied by a trailer park called the Starlite Estates. It appears that the marquee may have been saved

Contributed by Ken McIntyre

Recent comments (view all 9 comments)

rheus on April 9, 2006 at 11:55 am

The marquee was indeed saved and in the spirit of maintaining reference to it’s former drive-in purpose, all the streets in the mobile home community with the exception of the main entrance street which maintains the name Starlite Place are named after motion picture companies of the era like Paramount, Warner Bros, MGM, Republic, Universal and RKO

roger on May 22, 2006 at 5:46 am

It was operated by Midcontinent theaters and had a capacity of over 600 cars when I worked there in 1975, I was projectionist and checked every one of the 600+ speakers each week. the original 40'x60' screen blew down in 1967 and was replaced by a 50x110 screen. A second screen was added in the early 1980’s

zogh on December 10, 2012 at 7:52 pm

the marquee is still standing. the entrance & the sign are two blocks down on the photo above, & to the left.

rivest266 on December 11, 2016 at 5:18 am

This opened on September 16th, 1948. Grand opening ad in the photo section.

MichaelKilgore on September 25, 2018 at 8:15 am

Sioux Falls historian Eric Renshaw wrote an extensive history of the “Star-Lite Drive-in” for the Sept. 14, 2018 Argus Leader. If that link is alive when you read this, you should check it out.

Otherwise, here are a few summary details from that article:

  • It was built by Joe Floyd and his company, Welworth Theatres. The work was done by Roy Runyeon.
  • The original 38 by 56-foot screen was "the largest theater screen in South Dakota" at the time.
  • Original capacity was 650 cars with expansion room for 200 more.
  • After the East Park Drive-In closed in 1978 (K-Mart), a second screen at the Star-Lite opened May 16, 1979. It featured radio sound.
  • The drive-in's final active night was July 5, 1985.
davidcoppock on December 16, 2020 at 3:33 am

Opened on 16/9/1948 with “Relentless”.

davidcoppock on December 16, 2020 at 3:40 am

The second screen opened on 19/5/1979 with “Grease”.

davidcoppock on December 16, 2020 at 3:43 am

Closed on 5/7/1985 with “Just one of the guys” and “2010”.

Denny Pine
Denny Pine on March 3, 2024 at 10:15 am

I verified from the Argus-Leader archives in that the Starlite Drive-In’s final night was actually July 7, 1985 with the following features: Screen 1: “Just One Of The Guys” and “No Small Affair”, Screen 2: “2010” and “Cat’s Eye”

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