66 Drive-In

17231 Old 66 Boulevard,
Carthage, MO 64836

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Related Websites

66 Drive-In, Carthage (Official)

Additional Info

Previously operated by: Dickinson Theatres

Functions: Movies (First Run)

Phone Numbers: Box Office: 417.359.5959

Nearby Theaters

now showing

Originally opened in the early days of American post war drive-in boom on September 22, 1949 with Jack Carson in “Two Guys from Texas”. The 66 Drive-In had parking for 400 cars and a seating area for 18 walk-in patrons. It went dark in 1985 as eventually most drive-ins did after the boom had gone bust.

The story of the 66 Drive-In didn’t end in darkness though. In one of the most ambitious efforts of the dozens that have succeeded in resurrecting abandoned drive-ins, the old 66 Drive-In was brought back from brink and reopened in April 1998.

Now it is open seasonally and the big screen shows double features with the audio provided by local FM radio broadcast. Admission is $5.00 for 13 and up. Children 12 and under are a $1.00. No charge for a child if they are in a car set.

It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2003.

Contributed by Chuck Van Bibber

Recent comments (view all 14 comments)

JoelWeide on December 11, 2012 at 12:16 pm

I thought “you"did. I was a manager for your firm the 1970’s in Salina, Ks, and I was always under the impression that was a Dickinson house. Dickinson also operated the Webb City Drive-in a short distance from this theatre.

mpd732 on January 26, 2013 at 4:09 pm

lostmemory, this another notice that you are illegally uploading my photos from flickr to this website. Please read and remove the photo>>>>COPYRIGHT NOTICE: All photographs, text and html coding appearing in this/my Flickr site are protected under United States and international copyright laws. No images are within Public Domain. Use of any image as the basis for another photographic concept or illustration is a violation of copyright. Please do NOT steal my photos, scans or anything in my photostream for your little blogs or websites, Pinterest or Tumblr, Facebook or any other “social media”., or use them for any commercial or non-commercial, for or non-profit uses and please, don’t link to them AT ALL ANYWHERE. ALL photos here are NOT available for purchase. No, you may NOT use them for free, so please don’t waste your/my time asking. (That includes the “but we’ll give you a photo credit” crowd.)

Norman Plant
Norman Plant on January 27, 2013 at 8:33 pm

All photos uploaded to this website attached to my name were personally taken by me and not pulled from any other source. If someone is linking to a flickr page it is not being uploaded or stolen from you, it is linking to your flickr page.

dmacp1 on April 23, 2013 at 8:44 pm

I guess I’m fortunate. I have a color copy of the picture at the top of this page. From the site “ComeVisit” in 1998. I think I’ll frame it.

MichaelKilgore on March 13, 2017 at 2:18 pm

According to today’s Carthage Press, Mark and Dixie Goodman have sold the Route 66 to Nathan McDonald, his wife, Amy, and three children.

McDonald said, “Since I started working here in the last 10 years, every time I would sit here on a nice Sunday evening in the warm sunset, I wanted to be a bigger part of it. I’ve been given an amazing opportunity, it’s something that the more you hear, the more you want to be here.”

The article details the ties between the Webb City Drive-In and the 66, and how an old drive-in lot could be a good place for a used auto parts store. Until the auto parts markets fades just as drive-in nostalgia ramps up.

Full story: http://www.carthagepress.com/news/20170313/mcdonald-family-takes-over-route-66-drive-in

MichaelKilgore on April 6, 2017 at 2:15 pm

Another data point about inaccuracies in the International Motion Picture Almanac series: That Carthage Press article states definitively that the Dickinson theater chain closed the 66 in 1985, but the 1987 IMPA still lists it.

moviejs1944 on April 14, 2018 at 3:48 am

One gray day in 1988, I asked the operator of the 66 “Auto Graveyard” in Carthage, MO, if I could walk around and take pictures. He agreed, and those pictures show a pre-restoration 66. It was a thrill to revisit the 66 many years later and actually see a movie with throngs of other happy drive-in fans, just like the old days.

MichaelKilgore on June 20, 2019 at 7:58 pm

The Sept. 3, 1949 issue of BoxOffice reported an optimistic opening date. “William Bradfield of the Roxy, Carthage, Mo., was (in Kansas City) for several days buying and booking films for the Roxy and his new 66 Drive-In, one mile west of Carthage, which will open September 11. Friends in the industry have been invited to attend the opening.”

And the Nov. 5 issue told of a problem overcome. “CARTHAGE, MO. – Mechanical difficulties handicapped the opening of the 66 Drive-In west of Municipal park here recently. One of the sound amplifiers went out and a short in the arc furnishing light to one of the projectors caused faint images on the screen. Bill Bradfield, one of the owners, said the troubles were corrected the following day and shows went off as scheduled.”

davidcoppock on September 2, 2023 at 10:02 am

This drive-in theatre was seen on the DVD Route 66: Marathon tour Chicago to L.A. (episode 7).

50sSNIPES on February 11, 2024 at 7:41 am

The 66 Drive-In opened with Jack Carson in “Two Guys From Texas” along with the Looney Tunes cartoon “A Horse Fly Fleas” and a short entitled “Saddle Up”.

Construction of the theater started on July 11, 1949 by W.D. Bradford and V.F. Naramore who are also owners of the Roxy Theatre. Dickinson Theatres opened the theater on September 22 of the same year. Some of the original installations include RCA sound and a steel screen which was listed as one of the largest in Missouri at the time.

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