El Rancho Drive-In (II)

230 Hickory Grade Road,
Bridgeville, PA 15017

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Speaker poles

Opened in September 1971, seven years after the original drive-in closed. Located in South Fayette Township (although assigned to nearby Bridgeville), just about a mile from the original drive-in’s location. Closed on September 23, 1984. The site is now called El Rancho Field, used for township soccer games. The screen is still standing and some speaker poles are gathered at the entrance to the field.

Contributed by Denny Pine

Recent comments (view all 4 comments)

Denny Pine
Denny Pine on March 17, 2009 at 1:06 pm

Not quite, DeCoteau, but you’re close. The Star was situated near the corner of Miller’s Run Road (PA 50) and Hickory Grade Road. From that point, go about ¾ mile up Hickory Grade Rd. and you’ll find the remains of the El Rancho.

Denny Pine
Denny Pine on September 23, 2013 at 7:50 am

Most of the screen was taken down this past June; all that remains of it as of now are the steel supports.

Denny Pine
Denny Pine on November 26, 2018 at 12:28 pm

The second El Rancho was opened by September 20, 1971. The exact grand opening date could not be determined as there was a newspaper strike from May 14 to September 19 that year.

It was reported in May 1984 that the El Rancho would not reopen. However, the lease was passed on from previous operator Jon Showe to Dr. Paul Rankin (who owned the nearby Galaxy indoor theater) and the drive-in opened belatedly for the 1984 season on June 29. It turned out to be the final season; its last night of operation was on September 23 with “Purple Rain” and “Sudden Impact”.

jwmovies on January 19, 2019 at 7:45 pm

The address for this theater is 230 Hickory Grade Rd. Bridgeville PA 15017. This is now The Watson Institute. All traces of both the theater and the soccer field are now gone.

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