North Xenia Drive-In

1360 Old Springfield Pike,
Xenia, OH 45385

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Chakeres Theaters Inc.

Previous Names: Sundowner Cruise-In, Old Town Drive-In

Nearby Theaters

No theaters found within 30 miles

North Xenia Drive-In

The Sundowner Cruise-In opened on June 15, 1950 on the east side of Old Springfield Pike just north of Oldtown Creek. It was closed a week later due to nuisance complaint from neighbors. The October 13, 1951 issue of the Motion Picture Herald reported that the Jackson Theatre Company had taken over the “defunct” Sundown Cruise-In, which had reopened on August 30, 1951 with Roddy McDowall in “My Friend Flicka”. Shortly after it was renamed Old Town Drive-In.

The Motion Picture Almanac showed Jerry Jackson as the owner through its 1954 edition, then Mark Cummins (1955-57), Kip Smiley (1958-59), and the pair of M. Straus and Frank Weitzel (1960-62). In November 1961 it had been taken over by Chakeres Theatres and they renamed it North Xenia Drive-In from May 18, 1962. That’s how it stayed through the final MPA drive-in list in 1988 (although the theatre closed in 1986). Historic Aerials shows the North Xenia Drive-In still indicated on its 1995 topo map.

Contributed by Michael Kilgore

Recent comments (view all 6 comments)

davidcoppock on April 23, 2019 at 11:33 am

The renamed Xenia Drive-in opened on 18/5/1962 with “North to Alaska” and “Blue Hawaii” and “The pit and the pendulum”.

davidcoppock on April 23, 2019 at 11:39 am

Closed in 1985. The marquee is now in the Henry Ford Musuem in Dearborn, Michigan.

MichaelKilgore on April 7, 2021 at 9:17 pm

Motion Picture Exhibitor, Nov. 22, 1961: “Chakeres Theatres, Springfield, O., have bought the 500-car Old Town Drive-In, Xenia, O. from Melton Straus and Harry Schwartz.”

rivest266 on June 27, 2021 at 4:50 pm

1962 grand opening ad posted.

50sSNIPES on February 8, 2023 at 8:10 pm

This theater had a very interesting start. The Sundowner Cruise-In opened its gates on June 15, 1950, but closed one week later following nuisance and major complaints on its 12-acre property. Common Pleas Judge James Bell of London, Ohio, went to the theater (which at the time was operated by a Middletown firm) to depreciate the neighboring property. Five months prior to the theater’s opening, 19 property owners protested around the construction of the theater in January 1950.

On July 10, 1950, they lost the fight against reopening the theater under the property. Because on the case, the Sundowner never reopened throughout the 1950 season and into most of the 1951 season. A total of $9,300 has been given to judgement, and on July 10, 1951, a private sale was arranged in the Miller & Finny Law Office to dispose the theater, which later became a public sale the following week.

On August 27, 1951, a special and surprising announcement was received by The Journal Herald of Dayton, saying that the Sundowner Cruise-In will held its official “re-grand opening” on August 30, 1951 as it came after the Jackson Theatre Company took over as new management. The Sundowner Cruise-In reopened its doors after a 14½ month hiatus on August 30, 1951 with the 1943 film “My Friend Flicka” and its 1945 sequel “Thunderhead, Son Of Flicka” with no extra short subjects. A short time later, the theater was renamed “Old Town Drive-In”.

driveinfan on February 9, 2023 at 7:18 am

The property is now a soccer complex.

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