Sunset Drive-In

4205 W. Chestnut Expressway,
Springfield, MO 65802

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Commonwealth Amusement Corp.

Nearby Theaters

Sunset Drive In Snack Bar & Screen

The Sunset Drive-In opened on July 22, 1950 as a single screen ozoner and was operated by Commonwealth Amusement. It closed on September 4, 1983 playing R-rated movies:“Naked Weekend”, “The Centerfold Girls”, “Senior Snatch” & “Miss Nude America”. It was later demolished and the property was made into a trailer park.

Contributed by Chuck Van Bibber

Recent comments (view all 12 comments)

Stephen D Robertson
Stephen D Robertson on April 15, 2016 at 3:15 pm

I worked in the concession stand at the Sunset Drive-In when I was 16 in 1969. It was my first job. I met my wife there and we are still married after almost 44 years.

MichaelKilgore on April 4, 2019 at 7:17 am

An Associated Press story said that high winds knocked down the screen on May 30, 1977.

MichaelKilgore on May 14, 2019 at 9:32 am

The Sunset’s first appearance in the Film Daily Year Book drive-in list was the 1951 edition.

In the 1952-56 Theatre Catalogs, the Sunset was owned by Commonwealth, capacity 520.

The Sunset’s first appearance in the Motion Picture Almanac drive-in lists was the 1951-52 edition, capacity 546, owner Commonwealth. That’s how it stayed till 1977, when the capacity changed to 520. Despite its earlier demise, the Sunset stayed on the MPA list through its final edition in 1988.

MichaelKilgore on June 9, 2019 at 2:29 pm

A note in the July 22, 1950 issue of BoxOffice said that the Sunset opened on Friday, July 21, 1950. It was run by Commonwealth.

MichaelKilgore on July 17, 2019 at 6:49 am

The final night for Springfield’s Sunset Drive-In was Sunday, Sept. 4, 1983. Its final program was Naked Weekend, Center Fold Girls, Senior Snatch, and Miss Nude America, all rated R.

MichaelKilgore on January 5, 2020 at 7:40 pm

In a four-page article about Commonwealth’s drive-ins, the Feb. 6, 1954 issue of Boxoffice included a photo of patrons playing at a horseshoe pitching court at the Sunset.

leneagleburger on March 20, 2021 at 9:23 pm

I managed the Sunset Drive In in 1973 after being discharged from the US Army….I was Trainee Manager at the Hi-M Drive in when I was drafted. From the Sunset, I went on to the Holiday Drive In and finally the Queen City Twin. I was Assistant City Manager under City Manager Dean McMillen. I joined the Projectionist Union and operated at the Fox, Gillioz, Petite 3, Northtown 3 and 4, Battlefield Mall 6, and Campbell 16 and whatever Drive In’s were still operating at the time during the Summers.

leneagleburger on March 20, 2021 at 9:25 pm

After being discharged from the US Army, I was Night Manager at the Springfield Drive In before going to the Sunset Drive In. I managed all the Drive In Theaters in Springfield at one time or another.

rivest266 on June 28, 2022 at 4:58 am

Grand opening ad posted.

Kenmore on June 28, 2022 at 10:08 am

A 1985 aerial shows the screen gone. By 1990, the entire drive-in had been demolished with the trailer park being built. About the only remnant is the entrance/exit road which is still in the same location.

The trailer park is known as the Sunset Estates.

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