Bennis Drive-In

2030 W. Galena Avenue,
Freeport, IL 61032

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MichaelKilgore on April 17, 2021 at 7:28 pm

Where does this fit it? Was there only one drive-in in Freeport?

The Exhibitor, July 12, 1950: “(Steve) Bennis on May 18 opened his drive-in at Freeport, Ill."

MichaelKilgore on June 25, 2019 at 7:47 am

Looks like this opened as the Comet, the name mentioned in that 1956 legal spat, and the opening date was in 1952.

The 1952 Theatre Catalog lists the Comet, capacity 564, owned by Steve Bennis. The 1955-56 Catalog dropped the capacity to 562 and changed the Exec names to the names from the legal tussle.

The Motion Picture Almanac shows the Comet in Freeport, capacity 400, owned by Steve Bennis Circuit, beginning in the 1952-53 edition and continuing through 1966. By 1969, the MPA had switched the drive-in’s name to Bennis.

MichaelKilgore on June 25, 2019 at 7:19 am

From beginning? to end, notes from the Rockford IL newspapers.

On March 4, 1952, the Morning Star wrote, “An 11-acre tract west of Freeport at the end of Gypsy lane has been purchased by William Bennis, general manager of Bennis Theaters, for a drive-in theater … The plot is along U S. highway 20 and just east of the federal housing project.”

On April 18, 1956, the Morning Star wrote that some folks sued the Freeport Drive-In Theater corporation over hogging the first and second run movies. On May 24, it reported that William and Dorothy Bennis asked the court to appoint a receiver for the drive-in, with many of the same names involved.

The April 28, 1981 Register Star referred to the site as “the former Bennis Drive-in Theater location”.

On Aug. 12, 1982 the Register Star reported that drive-in owner Anthony Bennis was one of the investors in the shopping center that would replace the Bennis Drive-In Theatre. Groundbreaking was expected on Oct. 1 that year.

jwmovies on March 22, 2019 at 9:24 pm

The address for this theater is 2030 W Galena Ave, Freeport, IL 61032. This points directly to the entrance road. Now Goodwill and Park Plaza Shopping Center.

Please update.

rivest266 on June 1, 2012 at 4:36 pm

This was at W. Galena and N. Gilmore.