Twin City Drive-In

1400 US-302,
Montpelier, VT 05602

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Twin City Drive-In

The Twin City Drive-In opened May 27, 1949 with Ray Milland in “California” & Phillip Reed in “I Cover Big Town”. It served Barre and Montpelier at 1400 US-302. Robert Clinton Cody was its main operator and conceived of the indoor-outdoor facility. The outdoor lot contained spots for 400 cars and the indoor building could hold another 900. Cody operated the Strand Theater, Paramount Theatre, Capitol Theatre, Strong Theatre, and the Moonlight Drive-In. The Twin-City Drive-In fulfilled a ten-year lease and was demolished for the Vermont Shopping Center.

Cody then built this “new” Twin-City Drive-In operating from 1961 through 1988.

Contributed by dallasmovietheaters

Recent comments (view all 7 comments)

kennerado on June 13, 2020 at 9:52 pm

It actually opened on May 27th 1949 with “California” and “I Cover Big Town” plus an unnamed Disney cartoon.

dallasmovietheaters on June 30, 2022 at 9:39 am

The New Twin City Drive-In Theatre - mentioned above - launched April 13, 1962. It closed during the 1988 season.

Kenmore on June 30, 2022 at 11:06 am

I have a couple of questions about this drive-in and the Moonlight Drive-In & Theater.

A 1960 topo map shows the Moonlight, but nothing in the area where the Twin City Drive-In was originally located. It’s quite unusual for a topo map to not include one drive-in when it includes another just two blocks away. Unusual, but not impossible.

Another is the 215 Sherwood Drive address for the new setting of the drive-in which is basically empty in a 1966 and 1973 aerials. It is about one block from the Moonlight which makes its existence at that location off the main highway unlikely.

Given that both drive-ins were closed during the same year and both were owned by seemingly the same person, could the Twin City Drive-In be located right next to the Moonlight?

The 1966 and 1973 aerials show the Moonlight Drive-In has two screens. The second screen being right behind Cody Chevrolet. If so, then both drive-ins shared the same location.

Kenmore on June 30, 2022 at 6:43 pm

In addition, the 1979 and 1988 topo maps state “Drive-In Theaters” (plural) at the location of the Moonlight Drive-In & Theater. That indicates two separate drive-ins, not a single drive-in with two screens.

I believe that the Twin City Drive-In was located right next to the Moonlight Drive-In & Theater.

jimkvt on May 14, 2023 at 5:37 pm

@Kenmore, I researched the issues you mentioned and learned a lot. The Twin City Drive-in was originally down the road on a separate property. It opened in May and by June Cody bought it. In ten years the property it was in was sold. Cody also owned the Moonlight, which included an indoor “winter” theater he added shortly after opening the Moonlight Deive-In.

When the Twin City property was sold, he had the drive-in dismantled and moved to the Moonlight property. That’s why the maps would say Drive-Ins. It was confusing, but a lengthy search of local newspapers provided a wealth of information. I saved several articles and will post them here when I have a chance.

Kenmore on May 14, 2023 at 7:06 pm

First, the 215 Sherwood address is wrong. No drive-in was located on that address.

And B, the address for this drive-in should either be the original at 1400 US-302 or the same as the Moonlight depending on which one you want to use.

Again, the only odd thing is that topo maps tend to be out of date, some by several years.

If the Twin City closed at its original location in 1959, I think it would show up the following year on the 1960 topo map especially when the Moonlight is present.

However, this may be the case where the topo map was updated that year and the drive-in had been immediately torn down to make way for the shopping center.

David192 on August 2, 2023 at 2:55 pm

I hope this is helpful. I worked for the Cody/Bashara families from 1966-1969. At that time, they owned the Paramount in Barre, The Capitol in Montpelier, The Moonlight/Twin City Drive Ins in the Barre-Montpelier Road (RT302) and various car dealerships. I was a relief projectionist while in high school for all their theaters (mostly the Paramount) but sometimes at the drive-in(s). Both at that time were next to each other, the indoor theater was converted into a large body shop for Cody Chevrolet next door. We had a common projection room and only ONE projectionist ran both shows. With film reels lasting only 17 minutes the timing for changeovers was a real challenge! Sometimes I had to decide which theater would experience “film runout”, usually the theater that my high school buddies WERE NOT in so I wouldn’t hear about it later on. It was also the days of carbon arc lamps and automation certainly hadn’t been invented yet!

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