W. 5th Ave. Drive-In

900 W. 5th Avenue,
Columbus, OH 43212

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Additional Info

Firms: F & Y Building Service

Previous Names: West Fifth Auto Drive-In

Nearby Theaters

Dusk to dawn

The West Fifth Auto Drive-In was a small, urban drive-in located between two factories at 900 W. 5th Avenue (W. 5th Avenue at Delashmut Avenue).

The theatre opened on May 1, 1953 with a showing of "Battle of Apache Pass" and "Ivory Hunter." It was operated by S. Yassenhoff. The theatre operated for the next 25 years, closing in October 1978.

The site is now home to a McDonald’s, a carwash, and several industrial buildings.

The theatre was operated by Rainbow Theaters.

Contributed by D.A. Kellough

Recent comments (view all 8 comments)

Mark_L on May 25, 2010 at 10:01 pm

On May 3, 1965, the screen was blown down by a storm, and the drive-in was forced to close. It reopened with a new screen on 5/17/1965.

DAK8601 on April 10, 2011 at 8:53 pm

Program Friday, April 19 & 20, 1974- Dusk til Dawn horror quintuple feature. “I Dismember Mama,” “Blood-Splattered Bride,” and three other living dead features.

“Up-Chuck Cup” and Sanity Insurance policies offered to all patrons—just in case.

Free breakfast and a pass to a future show offered to patrons making it to dawn.

Pure drive-in.

DAK8601 on April 18, 2011 at 9:17 pm

July 4, 1974- “Spend a night with the nurses!”

Dusk til Dawn all-nurses show at the W. 5th Ave. Drive-In kicks off with “Candy Stripe Nurses,” then “Night Call Nurses,” followed by “Student Nurses,” next “Private Duty Nurses,” and finally “Young Nurses.”

Mark_L on July 16, 2011 at 7:29 am

Opened 7/11/1953 with TITANIC (starring Clifton Webb & HITCHHIKER. Advertised “Spacious Entrance and Exit for safety & speed, completely paved parking for greater safety and protection of your car, new and convenient Snack Bar easily accessible for all patrons, Latest Improved Individual speakers for each car, and Enjoy your movies in the cool of the evening.” Among others, good wishes were extended by Crumley Hudson (Columbus' only Hudson dealer), Howard Johnson Restaurant, Marble Cliff Quarries and the Circle Drive In (Stop in after the movie — Convenient Curb service.)

Mark_L on August 16, 2011 at 2:50 pm

Official name was “West 5th Avenue Auto Theatre”. This theatre was planned as a year-round operation.

DAK8601 on August 21, 2011 at 10:09 pm

Thanks, Mark_L for the great find! So cool to finally see some pictures of the theater! Does it look to you like there was a car lot on W 5th in front of the theater?

Reading through Columbus Dispatch, looks like theater opened to public May 1 and then held grand opening July 11. Maybe once all the final details had been nailed down?

Mark_L on August 22, 2011 at 6:33 am

Looking at an aerial picture from 1957, there does appear to be a car lot in front of the theatre. I can see cars parked very closely together on the west side of a barn like building. In a 1971 shot, this structure is gone.

Mark_L on June 22, 2012 at 5:48 pm

DAK8601 is correct, the theatre opened on 5/1/1953, with a Grand Opening on 7/1/1953. In the Grand Opening ad, there is a “best wishes” ad from West Fifth Auto Sales which was directly in front of the theatre.

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