Starvue Drive-In

700 Keith Street SW,
Cleveland, TN 37311

803 cars

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Additional Info

Previous Names: Cleveland Drive-In

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Starvue Drive-In

The Cleveland Drive-In was opened around 1949. It was renamed Starvue Drive-In by 1955. It had a capacity for 400 cars. It was expanded to accommodate 803-cars in June 1960.

Contributed by Ken McIntyre

Recent comments (view all 7 comments)

jwmovies on December 11, 2012 at 12:05 pm

Approx. address for this drive-in was 700 Keith St SW, Cleveland, TN 37311.

Theatrespawn on March 21, 2013 at 12:35 am

Cletus Benton owned the theatre. Mr. Benton also owned the Ford dealership in town, and opened the Shoney’s Restaurant in 1971, back when the I-75 ended almost at the theatre. The Starvue’s manager was a wheelchair-bound man who had been injured in a fall from a lift used in painting the screen (a number of other theatre employees died in similar falls during heyday of the drive-in theatre). Seems like his name was Hank, but I’m probably wrong. I believe there may have been a house at the base of the screen. It wasn’t unusual for the manager, or projectionist, or maintenance man and his family to live there.

MichaelKilgore on May 6, 2019 at 8:21 am

My guess is that the Starvue began its life as the Cleveland Drive-In, which first appeared in the Theatre Catalog in the 1949-50 edition, owned by Walter L. Morris and G. B. Oldum.

Motion Picture Daily reported on May 5, 1955 that Cletus Benton and Hoyt Fair had purchased the Cleveland Drive-In from Walter Morris. Later Motion Picture Almanacs did not include the Cleveland and listed the “Star-Vue” owner as “Cletus Bentont Hoyt O'Fain” (sic).

50sSNIPES on February 2, 2021 at 10:49 am

Owners of the Star-Vue On April 22, 1953 Faced A $15,000 Damage Suit In Circuit Court, Due To Many Problems. When The Theater Opened Months Prior, Violations Made Restrictions In The Area And Was Damaged. The Cigarette Machine Was Destroyed 3 Months Later.

MichaelKilgore on May 5, 2021 at 8:39 pm

Boxoffice, May 30, 1960: “Cletus Barton was enlarging and completely renovating the Starvue Drive-In at Cleveland, Tenn., bringing the capacity to 803 cars”

Boxoffice, April 29, 1963: “Tuesday (16) fire broke out at the Starvue Drive-In due to a short circuit. High winds prevailed and before the fire department could reach the theatre, the entire screen tower was destroyed. Construction was started Wednesday morning (17) by the owner, Clitus H. Benton. The Starvue expects to resume normal operation in two or three weeks.”

Livinman on September 9, 2023 at 9:08 am

I am the first cousin of the late Cletus Benton’s wife, Bobby June. Cletus owned three Holiday Inns in Cleveland, Benton Pontiac/Buick (NOT Ford), a Shoney’s, The King’s Inn in Lenoir City, and several strip malls in Cleveland; he eventually tendered ownership of The Star Vue Drive-In to co-owner, Hoyt Fair. Hoyt had fallen off the top of the drive-in while painting it, and became a paraplegic. He made the best of a tough situation, and invented a novel concept to showcase on Saturday nights. He would have ushers lift him onto a tall stool, and using the tickets that were purchased, he fashioned a bingo game. Patrons could win free concession food and movie passes. Hoyt made the food “top drawer,” and the movies were SO much better before comics, toys, and video gaming took over cinema. EVERY one of the 800+ car slots were filled to the brim every Saturday night!

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