Tri-Way Drive-In

4400 N. Michigan Road,
Plymouth, IN 46563

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Tri-Way Drive-In Theatre (Official)

Additional Info

Previously operated by: Y. & W. Management Corp.

Functions: Movies (First Run)

Phone Numbers: Box Office: 574.936.7936

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Tri-Way Drive-In

The Tri-Way Drive-In opened in 1953 as a single screen. Tri-Way was the theater’s original name; its name comes not from its later-three screens, but rather from its location near three highways (US Routes 30, 31, and 6). The first film that played at the Tri-Way was “Has Anyone Seen My Gal” starring Piper Laurie.

Today, the Tri-Way Drive-In is only one of only a handful of outdoor theaters still in operation in Indiana. It can accomodate over 500 cars, has a playground, and features vintage intermission trailers, such as the “dancing hotdogs”. The Tri-Way’s season runs from April-September. A fourth screen was added in 2013.

Contributed by Bryan

Recent comments (view all 10 comments)

rpatnaude on June 22, 2005 at 8:14 am

This is a fantastic Drive-In theatre for people in the South Bend area. Spent many a happy night here with friends. They always seem to get a good selection of movies.

jackshaw on November 29, 2006 at 3:50 pm

I believe recently They added minature golf! never been, always pass by on my way to South Bend. Got to go this summer!

CraigSCummings on April 30, 2013 at 9:26 am

Now has 4 screens. Terrible policies. Give drive-ins a bad name! Must purchase $8 permit to bring own food in – $16 charge if caught. Cannot share food with other cars. Nasty “Policy Strictly Enforced” on wed site with mention of Security Guards at entrance. No photographing allowed. This is NOT what drive-ins are about – or ever were!

Chris1982 on September 21, 2014 at 2:07 am

The Tri-Way Drive-In has a fund raiser underway to raise funds to convert to digital projection. It is listed on their website.

MichaelKilgore on May 15, 2017 at 8:18 am

I’ve never understood how restricting photography benefits any drive-in. Does it have something to hide? Does it want to avoid patrons sharing their photos of having fun?

I can better understand trying to prevent outside food, (seeing a Pizza Hut box must be annoying), but I think that policy’s short-sighted as well. Is a drive-in really going to check cars and throw out violators? Anyone caught like that isn’t going to play by the rules next time – they just won’t come back. A much better idea is to encourage patrons to buy from the concession stand, then sell high-quality food that makes them glad they did.

In general, any business that treats its customers like criminals has the wrong attitude about building long-term loyalty. A smart business swallows its minor annoyances, staying friendly and confident about its ability to keep profitable patrons coming back.

On a surely unrelated note, WNDU just ran a story on the Tri-Way. It bought those four digital projectors, now it needs more cash to pay off the loan. So the theater is asking for folks to please come by and buy some popcorn and a drink. Video here.

MichaelKilgore on July 7, 2017 at 1:27 pm

The 1955-56 Theatre Catalog calls it the Tri-Way, Exec: Wolf and Marcus, and Y and W Mgt. Corp.

That’s relevant for this example of how long it took the IMPAs to fix a mistake. The 1959 IMPA refers to the “Tri-Hi”, owned by T. Mendelssohn. (In the 1963 IMPA it was owned by Rex Cair.) That inaccurate name continued through at least the 1969 edition, but was corrected by 1972.

MichaelKilgore on October 26, 2023 at 2:34 pm

Motion Picture Herald, April 17, 1954: “Y & W Management Corp. now is operating the Hi-Way drive-in at Plymouth.”

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