Lakeland Drive-In

806 28th Street,
Milford, IA 51351

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Central States Theatres Corp

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Lakeland Drive-In

The Lakeland Drive-In was located in the town of Milford, Iowa. It was opened on August 26, 1948 and held 350 cars and in the late-1950’s, it was owned by Central States Theatre Corp. It was still open in 1987, but had been closed & demolished by 1994.

Contributed by MikeRogers

Recent comments (view all 10 comments)

CSWalczak on January 19, 2011 at 6:54 pm

For what it is worth, this theater’s name is spelled “Lakeland” on the site, but unfortunately there are no pictures or handbills posted there that would allow a verification of which spelling is correct.

Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois
Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois on January 20, 2011 at 9:58 am

Central States Theaters Corp. was in the Paramount .in Des Moines, Iowa. Myron N. Blank was President, they had 70 theaters in Iowa and Nebraska.

Can anyone come up with an address or crossroads? More info and photos are always welcome.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on January 23, 2011 at 6:26 pm

in My 1956 Motion picture almanac it was listed as LAKE LAND Drive-in,Not that it really matters.

wmu81 on April 19, 2011 at 8:04 am

This drive-in was located where the Okoboji Village mobile home park is now at 806 28th St.

dallasmovietheaters on August 25, 2015 at 2:11 pm

H.A. Parrots launched his 275-car drive-in on September 2, 1948. It was called the Lakeland due to it proximity to the Spirit and Okoboji Lakes. Nearby entertainment also included the Okoboji Speed Bowl where race nights drew loyal crowds. The largest crowd was 2,500 people who came out for a Democratic political rally in 1950. The Drive-In was knocked over in a wind storm in 1952 but rebuilt.

But the ozoner became known for the First Lutheran Church claimed to have the longest-running church services held at a Drive-In beginning at the Lakeland Drive-In on May 22, 1949. Started by Rev. Gordon Smedstrude of the Evangelical Lutheran Church-in in Storm Lake, the practice continued at other northwest Iowa drive-ins including Storm Lake’s Corral Drive-In. Though the drive-in was demolished, the services continued into the 2010s.

And the ozoner had a battle of the bands contests with one of the winning bands discovered at the Lakeland D-I which would go on to the Iowa Music Hall of Fame in The Castels, winner of the 1963 contest.

Kenmore on September 26, 2016 at 9:05 pm

A closer address (at least for Google) is 806 28th Street, Milford, IA. Today, a housing edition occupies the property with no trace of the drive-in remaining.

MichaelKilgore on March 9, 2023 at 5:19 pm

Boxoffice, Nov. 18, 1950: “MILFORD, IOWA - The Strand Theatre and the Lakeview (sic) Drive-In here have been sold by H. A. Parrott. James Travis, the new owner, is son-in-law of R. V. Fletcher, Hartington, Neb., exhibitor.”

That “Lakeview” was probably a mistake. The 1952 Theatre Catalog lists the Lakeland, capacity 300 cars, owner Jim Travis.

MichaelKilgore on May 5, 2023 at 4:33 pm

Boxoffice, July 23, 1962: “Jim Travis of Milford had reason to be happy on his visit to (Omaha) Filmrow. He said severe winds, which swept the Lake Okoboji area, sank boats and rolled up docks, spared his Lakeland Drive-In four miles south of Spirit Lake. “I could see the screen tower waving from 10 to 15 inches but it weathered the storm,” Jim said”

50sSNIPES on November 8, 2023 at 9:37 am

The Lakeland Drive-In actually held its informal opening on August 26, 1948, before officially opening it on September 2, 1948. Although I cannot find its closing date, it was still open into as late as 1987, but was gone by 1994.

MichaelKilgore on June 8, 2024 at 6:41 pm

Boxoffice, May 25, 1970: “Jim Travis again is operating the Strand Theatre and Lakeland Drive-In at Milford, Iowa.”

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