Rutland Drive-In

33 Seward Road,
Rutland, VT 05701

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Affiliated Theatres

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No theaters found within 30 miles

Rutland Drive-In

Located on Seward Road at U.S. 7 South. Norman “Bud” Grimshaw and his partner, Edward Morgan, built the Rutland Drive-In building it in 1947/8. Planned to be the first drive-in in Vermont, the theatre was eclipsed by the Sunset Drive-In opening May 29th in Burlington. So it was the first to start to be built in Vermont but the second to open.

The Rutland Drive-In launched with a Jerry Lewis film on July 3, 1948. Affiliated Theatres took on the venue. The theatre’s lease was severed at the end of 20-years in 1968 and was heading toward closure. But it got a year-to-year leasing extension.

Its final operator was Robert Shannon of Entertainment Enterprises who took on the venue in 1970. Alliance Church also experimented with Sunday morning drive-in church services sharing the space with the drive-in in 1974.

Shannon said the theatre would not be granted a renewal on its leasing agreement as the 1975 season ended. The Rutland Drive-In closed permanently on October 23, 1975 which coincided with the culminating Game Seven of the historic Boston Red Sox v. Cincinnati Reds World Series. Sox fans were spared the misery of the loss that night and got to enjoy a free screening of “That’s Entertainment” with a pre-show consisting of the showtime countdown and the Ray Coniff Singers recording of the Beatles' “Let it Be”.

The theatre’s land was said to be too valuable to continue yet frustratingly stayed vacant with the concession stand intact for a very lengthy time. The Rutland Twin Drive-In would open July 23, 1980 to bring outdoor movies back to the area. The former Rutland Drive-In was removed for an auto dealership which was still there in the 2020’s.

Contributed by dallasmovietheaters
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