Here we are, the final week of my year long photo project. I decided to get out to a place that sort of kicked off this whole project, a year ago, almost to the day. When I was still considering whether I was going to do the photo project or not, I went out to find an old drive-in theater. I wasn’t sure where it was, and in my adventures that day I never found it. Earlier this year I happened to drive by it and stored in the ole noggin where it was located.
On the West edge of Carlinville Illinois there sits an old dilapidated drive-in theater. This is the Diane Drive-In (some sites referred to it as the Diana Drive-In, but most of them call it the Diane Drive-In so that is what I’m going with).
It opened in 1952, and could hold 300 cars at the time. It was known for its bright neon lights and large ornate screen. The theater enjoyed a fairly long success. In 1978 the original screen caught fire, and was replaced with a smaller less elaborate screen. The Diane Drive-In shut its gates in 1981, as did many drive-in’s around this time.
Much of it sits intact to this day. Most of the screen is still standing, as well as the ticket booth and the concession building. I could have actually entered the concession building, but I was by myself and didn’t quite feel comfortable doing that.
This shot is taken from inside the ticket booth, looking out toward the screen the where cars would have once parked. You can even see some of the old neon tubes hanging down from the roof of the ticket booth. It must have been a pretty neat looking place back in its prime.
Bonus: While I wouldn’t normally post the rest of the photos I took during an outing, I’m going to make an exception for this place. There seem to be a lot of people interested in old Drive-In’s out there, and I’d hate to deprive them of seeing the rest of the photos of this place. You can see the rest of them over here at my Picasa web album.