Hi-Way Drive-In

Theatre Road and St Joes Road,
Carrolltown, PA 15722

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MichaelKilgore on December 5, 2017 at 11:20 am

I guess this was part of a chain. John Ridilla, described elsewhere as a real estate guy from Latrobe, opened the Hi-Way Drive-In in Latrobe in 1950. In February 1951, Billboard magazine noted the incorporation of Hi-Way Theaters, Inc. in Florida (!), with principals Bruno Ferrari Sr., Bruno Ferrari Jr., John Slate, and John M. Ridilla. Ferrari (Sr?) and Ridilla had built at least two apartment complexes by then.

The 1952 Theatre Catalog shows the Hi-Way, capacity 300, Exec: Thomas Woods, and John M. Ridilla. Ditto for the 1955-56 edition.

THe 1952-59 Motion Picture Almanacs listed the Hi-Way with Owner or Booker as Hanna Theatre Service. For the 1961-66 editions, that changed to J. M. Ridilla. It was missing from the 1978 MPA, then the 1980-82 editions listed it as owned by Cinemette, capacity 500.

For the 1984-88 MPAs, the spell-checker just didn’t care. The Hiway was listed on Roud 1 in Carrolton, owner R. Glaus. Was that a young Rick Glaus, since owner of the Twin Hi-Way in Robinson and the Dependable in Moon?

The Hi-Way is currently owned by Donald Gawel, who also owns the Bar-Ann Drive-In in Portage. The 2007 obituary of Diane Radwanski Gawel, his late wife, said she was “Co-owner of Hi-Way Drive In Theater in Carrolltown and the Bar-Ann Drive In Theater in Portage and previous operator of the Silver Drive In Theater in Johnstown for 12 years.”

TomMc11 on June 2, 2017 at 7:26 pm

A better address might be 421 Theatre Road, Carrolltown, PA 15722. Google Maps and Historical Aerials do not map properly to the current address, but do map properly to the one I just posted.