Pines Drive-In

Highway 10,
Excelsior Springs, MO 64024

300 cars

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Commonwealth Theaters Corp.

Previous Names: Spa Motor Movie

Nearby Theaters

Pines Drive-In

Opened as the Spa Motor-Movie on June 22, 1950 with Dana Andrews in “Canyon Passage”. It was operated by Richard E. Wiles Jr & Brooks Noah. It was renamed the Pines Drive-In on April 17, 1953 when it was taken over by Commonwealth Theatres. The drive-in was later owned by Dan Foster and parked 300 cars. The Pines Drive-In was closed in 1968. By March 2021 the screen and ramps were still there.

Contributed by Chris1982

Recent comments (view all 4 comments)

MichaelKilgore on June 7, 2019 at 11:24 pm

From the July 1, 1950 issue of Box Office:

EXCELSIOR SPRINGS, MO. – The 350-car Spa Motor Movie erected at a site on Route 69 one mile west of here recently was opened by the Winoko Corp. Owners of the new open-air theatre are Carl Koch, B. C. Noah and Richard E. Wiles jr. Equipment furnished by National Theatre Supply, Kansas City, included Simplex X-L projectors, Simplex sound, Magnarc lamps and Strong rectifiers.

MichaelKilgore on October 1, 2019 at 4:54 pm

Motion Picture Herald, May 3, 1952: Charles Brent has sold the Yucca drive-in, Santa Fe, N. M., to Wiles & Noah, who operate a drive-in at Excelsior Springs, Mo.

dallasmovietheaters on December 29, 2021 at 1:12 pm

Winoko Corporation opened the Spa Motor Movie Drive-In on June 22, 1950 with “Canyon Passage.” The original name of the venue was due to Excelsior Springs' being established as a spa community in the 1880s and whose fame peaked in 1948 when Harry S. Truman stayed at the Elms Hotel and Spa in 1948 on the night he was informed of his projected loss to Thomas Dewey and then his win the next morning when the results were more fully tallied.

The Spa was sold to Commonwealth Circuit who reopened for the 1953 season on April 17, 1953 changing from the Spa Motor Movie to the Pines Drive-In with “Bonzo Goes to College.” It was never called the Spa Motor-Vu although it’s a great name.

MichaelKilgore on December 30, 2021 at 9:15 pm

Commonwealth included “The Pines” in its circuit listing in the 1959 Motion Picture Almanac, but dropped it for the 1960 edition.

The last mention of the Pines (or was it the The Pines?) I could find with my limited online newspapers was the Aug. 21, 1958 Lathrop Optimist, a note about a group who attended the movie there. That and the Commonwealth timing suggest the drive-in didn’t reopen in 1959.

I had to go to the USGS site to find a photo, but there it was. By 1970, it had been replaced by a car dealership at 1910 W Jesse James Rd. Google Earth and Google Street View show no trace of the old screen or ramps.

(And dallasmovietheatres, I sent an email about my book to your Yahoo address.)

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