Starlite Drive In in Mitchell Closing
It’s the end of an era. The Starlite Drive In in Mitchell, South Dakota has announced plans to close for good at the end of this season.
The first spring after I moved to Sioux Falls, my roommates and I along with a half dozen other friends, loaded up in two vehicles to drive over to the drive in. I hadn’t been to a drive in since I was a kid at that point and had so much fun, we tried to get over there as often as we could. But busy lives have prevented many return trips over the past several years.
Now with movies being delivered digitally instead of film, it’s making it virtually impossible for small theatre operations like the Starlite to survive.
Owner Jeff Logan says movies will stop being delivered on film by 2014 and conversion to digital runs about $70,000 per screen, so this is the final run for the landmark that opened in 1949. Logan has owned the drive in since 1976.
It’s time to make one last run to the Starlite before the end of the season.
We’d love to hear your memories of the drive in!