A look back at the 66 Park In Theatre February 4, 2013Posted by Ron Warnick in History, Motels, Theaters.
The YouTube account of hudson501 posted another gem in the past week. This one features a look at the long-gone 66 Park In Theatre in Crestwood, Mo., from September 1991.
The poster explains how this remarkable footage was obtained:
I stopped along the south side of Watson Road (old Missouri US 66) to take some shots of this drive-in theater. The manager (the older gentleman seen in the view of the concession stand) noticed my taping and asked if I’d like to come onto the grounds to get some shots there. Naturally, I said “yes” and here are the three minutes of shooting I came away with. […]
In the shot of the theater speaker you can hear a radio spot for Famous Barr. For those of you unfamiliar with this name, it’s an upscale department store in the St Louis area that goes back many years (much like Macy’s or Marshall Field’s). The west side of the marquee along Watson Road no longer had any working neon. However, the east side still had the green neon “66” clinging to life on this date.
More images of the 66 Park In are collected here.
According to Quinta Scott’s excellent book, “Along Route 66,” the drive-in theater was razed in 1996 and is now the site of a grocery store. An excerpt:
The Flexor Corporation built the 66 Park In Theater in 1948 and sold it to Paul Krueger the following year. To obtain the steel for the screen tower after the war, Flexor had to apply for a building permit for a billboard. To attract business from the busy suburban strip, Flexor used the screen tower itself as the sign, outlining 66 PARK IN THEATRE in neon tubing. Krueger added a glass-block ticket booth and the signboard in the modernistic vernacular of the 1950s.
As a bonus, the clip includes night footage of the long-gone Coral Court Motel. Check out the neon lightning and the peaceful chirping of crickets. Hudson501 also posted a separate video of the Coral Court in daylight.