South 13th Street Drive-In

309 Fort Crook Road S,
Bellevue, NE 68005

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Additional Info

Previous Names: Grand View Drive-In, Grandview Drive-In

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South 13th Street Drive-In

Everett C. Petsch flew airplanes in the 1920’s and knew Charles Lindbergh. He built one of three drive-ins in the area with the West Dodge Drive-In and Lincoln’s Starview Drive-In all opening in 1948 along with his Grand View Drive-In opening on May 13, 1949 with James Ellison in “The Ghost Goes Wild”. Perched on a hill, cars could not only see the drive-in movie but a wide view of the Nebraska landscape. Petsch’s drive-in also had an adjoining baseball diamond that allowed folks to play ball and picnic prior to the show.

The Grand View Drive-In was about 1.5 miles north of Offult Field near the unincorporated village of Avery, Nebraska, between Bellevue and South Omaha. However, from police reports, the drive-in was in the jurisdiction of Bellevue. Children attending the drive-in were admitted free and received complimentary tractor rides around the hilly facility. The policy was generous with two features, two cartoons and three changes of program a week.

It was former pilot Petsch’s need for speed led to an addition with the Grandview racing track that led even more traffic to the venue beginning in 1950 and a slight name change to the Grandview Racing Bowl and Drive-in. The track closed in 1953 over safety concerns following some high-profile accidents. That despite some track configuration changes. The venue became the Grandview Drive-In Theatre.

The Grandview Drive-In continued finally under the name of the South 13th Street Drive-In Theatre. Petch closed the theatre after the 1963 season. The land was converted into a trailer park with the drive-in screen and buildings in place. But a wind storm in the late-1960’s finally toppled the screen. Petsch was interviewed in 1976 on the premises. He was pictured in the still (then) existing projection booth with the film projectors looking ready for usage if called upon that night.

Contributed by dallasmovietheaters

Recent comments (view all 2 comments)

kennerado on July 20, 2021 at 12:11 am

Opened May 13th 1949 with “The Ghost Goes Wild”.

Kenmore on July 20, 2021 at 4:50 am

A closer address is 309 Fort Crook Rd S, Bellevue, NE.

A 1952 aerial shows what appears to be a racing track. A 1955 aerial shows the drive-in. By 1969, a trailer park occupies the area around the entrance to the drive-in with the concession stand/projection booth intact, so this fits the description provided in the header.

Today, the Gateway Park Apartments occupy the area around the entrance with Beyond Dispensing Pharmacy sitting on what was the drive-in. There is no trace of the drive-in remaining.

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