Badger Four-Plex Drive-In

2001 N. Stoughton Road,
Madison, WI 53704

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Additional Info

Architects: Jack J. Liebenberg

Firms: Liebenberg and Kaplan

Previous Names: Badger Outdoor Theatre

Nearby Theaters

Badger Four-Plex Drive-In

The Badger Outdoor Theatre, with room for 600 cars, opened September 4, 1948, with Rita Hayworth and Larry Parks in “Down to Earth”.

Liebenberg & Kaplan designed the theater with completely surfaced grounds, a modern concession building, and a 60-foot screen. The Wisconsin State Journal reported a mile-long line of cars tied up traffic for a half an hour on opening night.

August 26, 1955, was a big day and night, as reported by the Journal. Charlton Heston came to town to promote “The Private War of Major Benson” and appeared at the Badger Drive-In and Strand theater.

On June 15, 1979, it opened with four screens, room for 1,605 cars, and radio sound, eliminating the speaker posts. The operator was 20th Century Theatres, who operated the Big Sky Drive-In and eight other theaters in the Madison area. The Journal noted it was the first multi-screen drive-in to be built in the Midwest.

After 41 years to the date, the Badger Drive-In closed September 4, 1989. The farewell double features included “Karate Kid III”, “Ghostbusters II”, “Star Trek V”, “Nightmare on Elm Street V", and “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade”.

In October 1989 construction started on a business park on the site.

Contributed by Ron Pierce

Recent comments (view all 1 comments)

rivest266 on February 1, 2020 at 6:44 pm

Speaker from this drive in being restored

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