Grayslake Outdoor Theatre

813 E. Belvidere Road,
Grayslake, IL 60030

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Additional Info

Firms: Arthur Swanson & Associates

Previous Names: Family Outdoor Theatre, Family Drive-In

Nearby Theaters

GRAYSLAKE OUTDOOR Theatre; Grayslake, Illinois - 1950 ad.

Opened on September 24, 1948 with John Wayne in Tycoon". The Family Outdoor Theatre could accommodate 1,040-cars. It was operated by Held and Nelson and was located along Highway 120 East at Route 83. In 1955 it was renamed Family Drive-In. By 1955 it had been renamed Family Drive-In. By 1960 it had been renamed Grayslake Outdoor Theatre. It operated for half a century before closing on September 6, 1998 with Tom Hanks in “Saving Private Ryan” & Wesley Snipes in “Blade”. It was razed a year later, and replaced by a strip mall.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 12 comments)

kencmcintyre on February 3, 2008 at 1:28 pm

The bottom photo shows the drive-in in 1990:

kencmcintyre on May 10, 2009 at 11:52 am

Here is a June 1982 ad from the Daily Herald:

jwmovies on September 15, 2016 at 3:04 am

This drive in was located at approximately 813 E. Belvidere Rd, Grayslake, IL 60030. The entrance was where Dunkin Donuts is now located. Please update.

zebtheamerican on August 9, 2017 at 2:32 am

I lived in Grayslake from 1975 to 1985, I was 9 to 18 years old. Our family went to this drive in regularly during the summer, it was magical. We would go in the station wagon and Dad would park backwards, open the tailgate and my lil'sister and I would lay on our pillows and eat popcorn we brought from home and drink Pepsi from glass bottles with our parents sitting in lawn chairs beside us. Had my first make out session with my first girlfriend there when I was 16, and then my first boyfriend a year later. Magical time!

Dawn on January 21, 2018 at 9:24 pm

Years ago I went to Volo Car museum with my family and drive by a drive-in down the street. I have reason to believe this is that drive-in, am I correct?

50sSNIPES on December 23, 2019 at 10:55 am

In The Early 1950s It Was Named Family Outdoor Theatre Before Changing Its Name To Family Drive-In In 1955.

50sSNIPES on June 14, 2021 at 3:44 pm

The Original Screen Before CinemaScope Is 45x60 Ft.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 29, 2021 at 10:19 pm

The October 2, 1948 issue of Boxoffice said that the Family Outdoor Theatre recently opened near Grayslake had been designed by architects Arthur Swanson and Associates.

50sSNIPES on April 9, 2023 at 12:34 pm

The Family Outdoor Theatre opened its gates on September 24, 1948 with John Wayne in “Tycoon” along with an unnamed Disney cartoon. The theater changed its name to the Family Drive-In by 1955, and later the Grayslake Outdoor Theatre by 1960.

After almost 50 years of operation, the Grayslake Outdoor Theatre closed for the final time on September 6, 1998 with “Saving Private Ryan” and “Blade”.

50sSNIPES on April 9, 2023 at 12:41 pm

Grand Opening ad posted.

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