Meadow Lark Drive-In

4445 E. Harry Street,
Wichita, KS 67207

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Commonwealth Amusement Corp.

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Meadow Lark Drive-In

Compare the Meadow Lark Drive-In’s marquee to that of Tulsa’s Modernaire Drive-In and you’ll see that they are identical. There must have been a connection in ownership between the two theatres.

The single screen Meadow Lark Drive-In was opened July 2, 1950 with Jane Wyman in “Lady Takes a Sailor” & Victor Mature in “Easy Living”. It held 1,000 cars. It was operated by Mr & Mrs T.H. Slothower and was designed by T.H. Slothower. In 1951, the Slothower’s built the 400-car capacity Meadow Lark Drive-In ‘annex’ adjacent to their original theatre, and it operated as a twin screen, with a capacity for 1,400 cars over the 20 acres of land. There was children’s playground in front of each screen. The concession building had a patio which had seating for 350 deck-chairs.

It was later taken over by Commonwealth Amusement Corp. It was closed on September 19, 1982. It was demolished in 1983 for a retirement homes development.

Contributed by J. D. Chapman

Recent comments (view all 14 comments)

TLSLOEWS on April 30, 2010 at 5:29 pm

Very nice marquee for a drive-in in the 1951 photo.

JD1940 on February 28, 2012 at 1:55 am

By the time I came to Wichita as City Manager for Commonwealth Theatres in 1975, this once high grossing Drive-In was on the downward slide. While still profitable it became obvious the value of the real estate was far higher than its earning potential and it was sold for a retail development. It was a twin Drive-in with two concession stands.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on April 3, 2012 at 3:41 pm

JD1940 playing here May 15 1974 was on screen one “SLEEPER” and “SLAUGHTER HOUSE 5” and the other screen was “SUPERDAD” and “SON OF FLUBBER'.

kwilkin1962 on September 11, 2013 at 8:29 pm

The Meadowlark opened only two days before the Pawnee did. It’s first movies were “The Lady Takes a Sailor”, starring Jane Wyman and “Easy Living”.

Lyndon on September 4, 2016 at 5:11 am

The Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum has a thread of memories about the Meadow Lark.

bluejaywichita1 on February 7, 2017 at 8:52 pm

I only remember this one by name. If my parents ever took me there, I don’t remember. I do know it must have been gone by the early 70’s as this is now the location of a golf course, housing development and the former Harry Street Mall, all of which I remember from my childhood.

davidcoppock on August 31, 2017 at 1:53 am

Odd name!! Why the name Meadow Lark?

rivest266 on January 28, 2021 at 1:18 pm

Last season: 1982

dallasmovietheaters on November 4, 2022 at 7:49 pm

The Meadowlark Twin Theatre closed for the season on September 19, 1982 with “Night Shift,” “Arthur” and “Caddyshack” on Screen I and “Sorceress,” “Death Race 2000,” and “Death Sport” on Screen II. The Meadowlark Twin was demolished in 1983 replaced by the Georgetown Village retirement community.

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