Camdenton's Drive-In

119 Service Road,
Camdenton, MO 65020

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Additional Info

Previous Names: Camdenton Drive-In

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Camdenton's Drive-In

Camdenton’s Drive-In Theatre opened on April 7, 1950. The opening feature was a double feature of “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves” starring Maria Montez & Jon Hall and “Son of a Bad Man” starring Las La Rue. The next feature, appropriately enough for a theatre in the Ozark Mountains, was “Square Dance Jubilee” starring Don ‘Red’ Barry. This was the second drive-in to open in the area following Grand Glaize Drive-In in nearby Osage Beach the previous summer.

There was no news coverage of the opening in the weekly Camdenton Reville, as there had been at the opening of the Grand Glaize Drive-In the previous year, maybe because of the modest advertisements they ran compared to the Grand Glaize Drive-In. Though I think it was commonly referred to as the Camdenton Drive-In Theatre, at least during their first year, the name on their advertisements was clearly Camdenton’s Drive-In Theatre.

The drive-in was located on Highway 5 South in Camdenton. It was closed in the mid-1970’s and has been demolished. The site of the drive in is now occupied by the Camdenton Vocational and Technical School, and all traces of the drive in are gone.

Contributed by Bob Brown

Recent comments (view all 9 comments)

bbrown1 on July 4, 2008 at 12:10 pm

This drive-in was purchased by John White, who previously owned the Lake Theater, and he began operation on April 30, 1957. I am no sure whether or not it had been closed for a period of time, but a newspaper article indicates that he made significant improvements at the theater. Under his ownership, the theater was known as Camdenton Drive-In Theatre, as opposed to Camdenton’s Drive-In Theatre.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on April 18, 2010 at 1:12 pm

this rather small Drive-in parked 150 cars in 1956 and was owned by E.E.Hopkins.

TLSLOEWS on April 20, 2010 at 12:16 pm

Thanks again Mike, I need one of those books you have.

jwmovies on September 13, 2012 at 10:57 pm

Approx. address for this drive-in was 119 Service Rd.

MichaelKilgore on May 22, 2019 at 6:58 am

Sounds like the drive-in was closed in 1954 and reopened. From the July 2, 1955 Motion Picture Herald:

The Camdenton drive-in theatre at Camdenton, Mo., has just been opened for the first time in two years.

MichaelKilgore on June 15, 2019 at 11:13 am

From the Sept. 17, 1949 issue of BoxOffice: “CAMDENTON, MO. – A 150-car drive-in being constructed on Route 5 adjacent to the high school by E. E. Hopkins of Lebanon, Mo., was scheduled to open on Saturday (1).” That would be Sat., Oct. 1, 1949, if it happened.

kennerado on January 3, 2020 at 8:11 pm

Looks like what is currently called Dare Blvd was the entrance road and Minor St was possibly the old exit road.

MichaelKilgore on September 23, 2021 at 2:36 pm

I don’t know where this fits. Boxoffice, July 11, 1953: “Clifford H. Hough of Lebanon … has opened his new drive-in at Camdenton, Mo., in the Lake of the Ozarks area.”

The Hopkins and Hough families collaborated in 1949 on a drive-in project in Rolla MO that was bought out by Rowe Carney just before it was to open. Maybe they tried again in Camdenton.

50sSNIPES on September 17, 2022 at 5:44 pm

Closed in the mid-1970s, demolished later that decade.

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