Holiday Drive-In

2829 E. Kearney Street,
Springfield, MO 65803

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Commonwealth Amusement Corp.

Firms: Milton Costlow & Associates

Nearby Theaters

View of  remains of the Holiday Drive-In from above

The Holiday Drive-In opened August 13, 1970 with Lee Marvin in “Paint Your Wagon”. It was a rather large drive-in for Springfield with a car capacity of 529. It was a single screen ozoner. The Holiday Drive-In closed in 1981 but was taken over by new operators and reopened June 1994 and finally closed in 1996. Originally sound was by traditional pole speakers but later by FM radio. The Holiday Drive-In was demolished in March of 2005.

Contributed by Chuck Van Bibber

Recent comments (view all 18 comments)

Bill Eichelberger
Bill Eichelberger on May 27, 2015 at 9:58 pm

This should actually be listed as 2744 E. Kearney St, Springfield, MO. The coordinates for the remains of the theater are at +37.23926, -93.23691. The sign still exists and says Holiday Theater quite clearly.

rivest266 on July 16, 2017 at 9:19 am

August 13th, 1970 grand opening ad in the photo section.

Found on

DavidZornig on November 25, 2018 at 11:26 am

Additional history on the Holiday Drive-In.

davidcoppock on November 26, 2018 at 4:51 am

Opened with a colour cartoon(not named), “The silent screamer” and “Paint your wagon”.

KenLayton on November 26, 2018 at 8:56 am

Looks like if the adjacent land was purchased, this could be an excellent twin screen drive-in theater.

MichaelKilgore on April 17, 2019 at 11:38 am

Since it’s such a great history article, and since newspaper links tend to turn obsolete after a few years, I added the page that David Zornig posted (thanks!) to the Internet Archive.

According to the Answer Man, a May 18, 1969, story in the Springfield Leader and Press said the Holiday “would have two screens, one for 490 cars and the other for 509. That didn’t happen. It ended up with one screen for 529 cars.”

leneagleburger on March 20, 2021 at 9:44 pm

I managed the Holiday Drive In in 1974. From what I understand, It was originally going to be built where Northtown Mall is today and was to be the first Twin Drive In in Springfield. I did some yardwork there prior to it’s opening and the same at the Queen City prior to it’s opening. I was drafted in the Army and was not in Springfield for the Holiday’s Grand Opening. The first Manager was Gary Prosser. Projectionist was Jim Wilson.

DavidZornig on August 6, 2022 at 8:24 am

Additional history credit Route 66 Mother Road Postcards and more Facebook page. (Newspaper clipping added to the gallery says 2800 East Kearney)

“The Holiday Drive-In Theater was located next to Lurvey’s at 2829 East Kearney Street and opened on August 13, 1970 with a showing of “Paint Your Wagon,” starring Lee Marvin and Clint Eastwood. The Holiday covered 35 acres, originally included spaces for 503 vehicles and had the largest screen in the area. It closed in 1981. Christopher Maples revived the Holiday in June 1994 but it closed again after the 1996 season. The site is still vacant but the sign remains, nearly hidden among the trees at the entrance.”

Kenmore on August 7, 2022 at 10:17 am

The marquee was relatively intact and in good shape as late as May 2018.

But an August 2019 Google Street Map shows the “Holiday” part of the sign is gone, although the structure remains. The same is true for the lower part of the sign that contains the removable letters. It is now more of a framework than a completed sign.

It doesn’t look like vandalism, it appears that the upper and lower signs on the marquee were deliberately removed.

DavidZornig on August 7, 2022 at 10:32 am

I forgot to mention I added a 2022 photo of what remains of the sign.

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