Rock 'N' Roll Drive-In

272 Drive-In Lane,
Chaffee, MO 63740

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Rock 'N' Roll Drive-In (Official)

Additional Info

Functions: Movies (First Run)

Previous Names: Montgomery Drive-In

Phone Numbers: Box Office: 573.281.4746

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Rock 'N' Roll Drive-In

The Montgomery Drive-In opened April 10, 1955, featuring the 1954 adventure “The Black Knight” with Alan Ladd, Peter Cushing and Patrick Troughton. The second feature was the 1954 drama “The Cain Mutiny” with Humphrey Bogart, José Ferrer, Van Johnson and Fred MacMurray. It was owned and operated by Bernice Montgomery and later on his son Morris Montgomery. The parking ramp could hold 200 cars. If one would look at the 1960 aerial view, it appeared as if could park about 350 cars. It could have possibly been enlarged at a later date. It featured a ‘Fairyland’ for the children and it had an electric merry-go-round, swings and other playground equipment.

On September 22, 1965, the original wooden screen tower which was made from redwood shipped from Oregon was blown over. The new screen tower was made of concrete panels cast locally and supported by heavy steel beams. The theater finally closed in October 1971.

On June 27, 1980, Morris’ son and his mother reopened the Montgomery Drive-In. It was only open on the weekends. It was in operation until October 9, 1981, when it closed for good. The screen tower is still standing and the parking ramp is used for storage. Morris commented that the drive-in showed very few first-run movies. “The big movie theaters in Cape had contracts that embargoed those kinds of shows for at least 14 days". Modern day television and air conditioning also took its toll on the drive-in theater business.

It reopened in October 2020 as the Rock ‘N’ Roll Drive-In, the address given as 272 Drive-In Lane, Chaffee, MO 63740.

Contributed by Randy Studer

Recent comments (view all 6 comments)

rivest266 on August 6, 2013 at 8:23 am

Notice that the Home of the Stars Drive-In opened four days later on the 14th of April?

dansdriveintheater on November 28, 2018 at 4:41 pm

the screen is still standing!

MichaelKilgore on June 2, 2019 at 11:31 am

From the April 16, 1955 issue of BoxOffice:

CHAFFEE, MO. – The Montgomery Drive-In just north of the city limits had its grand opening on Easter Sunday (April 10, 1955). It is owned and operated by Bernice Montgomery, who also owns and operates the 500-seat Horstman Theatre. The opposition, Home of the Stars Drive-In, owned by Robert Capshaw, a local automobile dealer, also had its grand opening the same day.

MichaelKilgore on September 20, 2020 at 1:39 pm

Per Cape Girardeau TV station KFVS, the former Montgomery will reopen in October as the Rock ‘N’ Roll Drive-In. From photos on its Facebook page, they’ve done a lot of work to clear the viewing field and take the foliage off the sturdy concrete screen.

MichaelKilgore on May 13, 2023 at 12:46 pm

It’s alive! The Rock ‘N’ Roll Drive-In hosted its third annual Community Appreciation Night yesterday, per KFVS. I can’t quite tell whether it reopened in late 2020, but it was definitely open by the spring of 2021.

Kenmore on May 14, 2023 at 7:41 am

A November 2022 Google Street View shows the marquee of the drive-in featuring movies from that period such as “Wakanda Forever”.

It seems that they used shipping containers for the projection booth/concession stand with a quanset hut on the side. Rather innovative and quite budget-friendly when restoring a drive-in.

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