South Dakota Drive-ins

Back during the boom years in the late 1950's
there were 31 Drive-ins operating within the
Mount Rushmore state. Since the heyday of
America's Drive-ins 80% of those that had
once flourished in South Dakota have gone
dark or have been demolished ... now only
half a dozen outdoor cinemas continue in
operation here. These are the most recent
closings and the remaining Drive-ins that
we can still appreciate and patronize to
help preserve the presence of the past:

  • Gregory (Gregory County) South Dakota
    Hilltop Drive-in:   605-835-8105
    located on Highway 18 West

    The oldest  of South Dakota's remaining Drive-in theatres
    opened up back in 1946 and remains open May-October
    for a couple hundred cars per nite; AM/FM sound only.

  • Miller (Hand County) South Dakota
    Midway Drive-in:  605-853-3372
    located on Hwy.14 East, between Miller & St.Lawrence

    The smallest of South Dakota's Drive-ins which remain
    in operation has a capacity for up to 160 cars

  • Mitchell (Davison County) South Dakota
    Starlite Drive-in:  605-996-4511
    located on Highway 37 North (5 miles N of I-90)

    Another tough old-timer, South Dakota's Starlite has been lit
    since before the late 50s 'boom' years (1949), and in its time,
    the Winds of Change were more than a quaint euphemism ..
    a tornado ravaged the Drive-in back in the late 80's and then
    the old Ozoner had gone dark for a stretch before being
    restored and resurrected in 1993.  The revived Starlite
    accomodates nearly 400 cars, with traditional speakers
    in the first 3 rows. They broadcast the movies' audio on
    FM (90.1) April-September.  ADM: $6 per person 12&UP
    or $7 per car certain nites; holiday Dusk-to-Dawn shows.

  • Mobridge (Walworth County) South Dakota
    Pheasant Drive-in:  605-845-2021
    located off Highway 12 just west of city limits

    Mobridge's Drive-in was once located a couple miles
    east of it's present location .. from where it had been
    moved when the original site was flooded to form
    Lake Oahe. It reopened on the west side of town
    in June of 1960 and was renamed the Pheasant by
    its current owner who has operated here since 1976.
    Situated midway between Bismark, ND, up north,
    and South Dakota's state capitol 100 miles south,
    the Pheasant is lit seasonally, May - September;
    screening double features most nites plus triple
    features frequently on weekends. The audio for
    the movies' soundtrack is provided with AM (530)
    and FM (105.5) radio as well as traditional Dr'in
    speakers. Admission: $5 per adult; under 12 free.
    Snackbar FAV here: their chopped BBQ sandwich.

    photo:  Julie Neidlinger
 Redfield, South Dakota

  • Redfield (Spink County) South Dakota
    Pheasant City Drive-in:  605-472-1453
    located on Route 281 North

    Pheasant City has been lit-up since 1953, a tough old
    solo screen, which has a capacity for up to 200 cars ..
    is still maintaining some traditional Drive-in speakers
    for nostalgia's sake ..  in adddition to providing audio
    with a local vicinity FM radio broadcast. Pheasant City
    remains open seasonally, May thru September.

  • Saint Lawrence (Hand County) South Dakota
    see:  Miller, South Dakota

  • Sisseton (Roberts County) South Dakota
    Siskota Drive-in:  605-698-3021

    Solo screen, with a capacity for up to 200 cars,
    which is open seasonally, May through September.

  • Winner (Tripp County) South Dakota
    Pix Drive-in:   605-842-2913   DARK
    located on Highway 18 West

  • Winner (Tripp County) South Dakota
    Winner Drive-in:   DARK
    located on Highway 18 East

If you are aware of any Drive-ins
that we seem to have missed, or
would like to contribute any
information to our efforts,
please use this envelope
to send a letter to us.


 The Guide to Drive-in Movie Theatres

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