A Small Selection of Ads for the 53 Drive In – 1976-1984. Part One


9-12-80, LHODES was there!

They were small, word-only gems to read through. In an era dominated by AMCs, Multiplexes, Epic Hollywood Movies, and a growing sense that the Drive In culture was being driven out, these little messages of Exploitation greatness with some of the best of the major hits almost turned the 53 in Palatine into a very cool place to be for those in the Chicago area looking to fill their need for Drive In living. Some just as vintage drive ins were either going through the motions, or Adult in the case of the Starview (nothing wrong with that, though)

When it Tri-Plexed in Mid-1976, the number of great films which filled their screens grew,although sometimes the actual ads were not in the Tribune’s regular visual spectacular making some of these shows very special to the customers who were into this stuff. At first glance, one can miss the small visuals, but it then reads like poetry – at least the kind we can dig. This very small selection of ads will possibly want the reader to serious push for some Time Machine to be created.


2-6-76 – First, here’s a small glimpse of what was in The Mid 70’s before the addition of two screens. The Harlem will sadly close a little on in the year.


7-23-76 – Wonder if there was a yearly discount pass for Screen #2! (Drum roll!)


7-30-76 – I love the concepts at Screen 2!




8-20-76 – You have Devil Business on Screen 1, Girls Galore on Screen 2, and Cool Horror on Screen 3! Now that’s programming!!!


12-17-76 – Screen 3 had the One Eye/House of Whipcord Re-Title special at Screen 3.


2-4-77, Screen  with the Squad flicks and Screen 3 with The Three Houses of Hell rightfully called 3 Classic Horror Films. Screen 1 is cool, too! Weekend at the 53!


2-18-77 – Screen 3 with two serious flicks and Rattlers! Sometimes, not playing by the rules is the rule, especially in the first few months of the year. Love Screen 1 as well – Island of the Doomed aka Who Can Kill a Child and Nightmare Castle with Barbara Steele.


4-11-77 with Barbed Wire Dolls at Screen 2!


1-20-78, Screen 2 has a couple of titles known to Something Weird Video fans, Screen 3 had Females for All and Nurses for You and Screen 1 has Rolling Thunder!




5-25-84, Possibly the only screen in the Chicago area showing Cannibal Ferox!


10-12-84, May have cut down to two screens, but both were showing great stuff/ No VCR, but still have a car? Here’s your home for the weekend! The US cut of The Beyond was showing that week, too!


10-19-84, Screen 2 had a held-over show and Screen 1 was for those who miss the classic days with films by one of the greats, Russ Meyer!

More later!


~ by screen13 on September 30, 2015.

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