66 Drive-In – Carthage, Missouri
Posted by: Groundspeak Charter Member BruceS
N 37° 10.400 W 094° 22.119
15S E 378496 N 4114977
Quick Description: Historic drive-in theater along old Route 66 near Carthage, Missouri
Location: Missouri, United States
Date Posted: 4/16/2015 4:47:47 PM
Waymark Code: WMNQ2K
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Outspoken1
Views: 2

Long Description:

The Route 66 Drive-in Historic District is located in Jasper County, in an open area on the western edge of Carthage, Missouri. The drive-in property covers approximately 9 acres, and faces Old 66 Boulevard, which follows the original path of Missouri Route 66. The highway forms the southern boundary of the district. The property contains a large collection of highly intact historic resources, most of which date to the year the drive-in opened, 1949; all are in excellent condition. District boundaries include all notable buildings and structures used by the 66 Drive-in business during the period of significance. Those include: a large steel-framed screen house, a stucco concession stand, a ticket booth with glass block walls, and a large freestanding neon sign board. All four of those are counted as contributing resources. The setting is further enhanced by the presence of several original driveway and aisle markers, most of the early speaker stands (now missing the speakers) and the original parking ramp system. The only non-contributing resource in the district is a low modern metal-sided building which sits back to one side of the entrance drive. All of the historic resources of the drive-in have recently been restored, and the theater looks and operates today much as it did during the period of significance...

It is a highly intact drive-in theater which looks and operates today much as it did the year it opened for business, 1949. The drive-in was the product of a national boom in drive-in theater construction which followed WWII; the number of drive-ins in the nation jumped from 52 in 1941 to 4,5000 in 1956. This property gains further significance from its association with historic Route 66, which originally bordered the property. The 66 Drive-in is the oldest and most intact historic drive-in theater located directly on Route 66 in Missouri, and one of only nine drive-in theaters known to be operating on Route 66 anywhere in the United States. The drive-in was built in 1949 by local businessmen William D. Bradford and V. F. Naramore, and remained in operation until 1985. The historic resources associated with the 66 Drive-in were all restored in the mid 1990s, after which the theater resumed its original function. It is significant as a rare example of a once-common theater type-the drive-in.

– National Register Nomination

The drive-in theater continues to operate during the late spring and summer months. It appears to remain in good condition.


Street address:
17231 Old 66 Blvd.
Carthage, Missouri

County / Borough / Parish: Jasper

Year listed: 2003

Historic (Areas of) Significance: Event

Periods of significance: 1925-1949, 1950-1974

Historic function: Recreation And Culture

Current function: Recreation And Culture

Privately owned?: yes

Primary Web Site: [Web Link]

Secondary Website 1: [Web Link]

Season start / Season finish: Not listed

Hours of operation: Not listed

Secondary Website 2: Not listed

National Historic Landmark Link: Not listed

Visit Instructions:
Please give the date and brief account of your visit. Include any additional observations or information that you may have, particularly about the current condition of the site. Additional photos are highly encouraged, but not mandatory.
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