De-Val Drive-In

1890 Sycamore Road,
DeKalb, IL 60115

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Valos Theaters

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This drive-in opened June 29, 1949 with Jack Carson in “April Showers”. It was located on Sycamore Road, connected to a shopping center. It could accomodate 448 cars. The De-Val Drive-In was closed in summer of 1977.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 8 comments)

Darrel Wood
Darrel Wood on May 6, 2007 at 9:24 am

Actually, the drive in was part of the strip mall. It was behind the strip mall, and the screen was attached to the back of the mall. There was a walkway in the middle of the strip that allowed you to walk back to the drive in portion.
The name was a combination of the town, DeKalb and Valos, the owners. They also owned the Egyptian Theatre.

TommyK on August 13, 2012 at 8:14 pm

When I moved to the DeKalb area, in the late 1980’s, the movie screen was down, but I remember going to Wayman’s Ace Hardware in that strip mall for hardware. There was, indeed a covered walk-way between the parking lot and the back of the store. I remember seeing speaker poles and the parking ramps. Near as I can tell the walk-way was bounded by areas used as apartments at the time. The mall’s parking lot even had a defunct “Photo Cube” which was vacant at least since the aforementioned late 1980’s.

Sometime, around the turn of the century, The strip mall was bull dozed and the retail center was reconfigured with a number of smaller retail buildings. One of these buildings is the Dairy queen. If you Bing Map the Dairy Queen, that will get you in the right area. There is a grassy area behind the current buildings. This appears to be part of what was the parking area shown in the old aerial photo. Note the, now abandoned, rail road right-of way in the back of the lot, seen in both photos.

I’m not sure if the “Wayman’s” owned the property their hardware store stood on or leased it. The Hardware store only lasted a short time before they sold-out. The ‘new’ Wayman’s Ace Hardware store building is now (2012) occupied by The Salvation Army thrift store.

jwmovies on September 25, 2012 at 10:35 am

Now Bemis Toyota. Approx. address for this drive-in was 1890 Sycamore Road.

rivest266 on August 29, 2016 at 1:55 pm

This opened on June 29th, 1949. Its grand opening ad now in the photo section.

davidcoppock on June 22, 2019 at 11:00 pm

Opened with a cartoon(not named), selected shorts(number and names not mentioned), and “April showers”.

50sSNIPES on March 20, 2020 at 6:21 pm

Right In the Middle Of The 1977 Season According To The Daily Chronical, The Theater Tried To Have New Management, But Didn’t Reopened Though. But In 1978, The Location Went Into A Couple Of Problems After Its Closure.

kennerado on March 24, 2020 at 10:52 pm

The strip mall was actually built after the drive-in, originally the screen was in the traditional configuration but after the mall was built they moved the screen onto the back of the mall.

MichaelKilgore on January 2, 2022 at 9:52 am

Boxoffice, Aug. 18, 1969: “De Kalb County’s only outdoor theatre, the De-Val Drive-In, located behind the shopping center of the same name on Sycamore Road, reopened Friday (11) after being closed for several years. The airer will be operated by Valos Theatres, which also has the Egyptian in De Kalb, and will run on an 11-month schedule utilizing in-car heaters during the winter months.”

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