Terre Haute Drive-In On Path To Rebuild

Old North Drive-In screen, surrounded by trees

Screen capture of a WTHI news video

A proposed renovation and reopening of the North Drive-In in Terre Haute IN passed another permitting hurdle this week. As reported in the local Tribune-Star, Brent Barnhart, president of the company that owns the Starlite Drive-In Theatre in Bloomington and a few indoor theaters, was granted a variance to use grass and gravel in the viewing area instead of a hard surface.

The article said that it has been 32 years since Terre Haute’s north side has had an operational drive-in theater, although the North was still listed in the 1988 Motion Picture Almanac. The original screen — “about 80 feet wide and 35 feet tall, sitting about another 15 feet off the ground” — still looks pretty good according to a 20-second video posted at WTHI, Terre Haute’s News Leader.

”This is definitely a good step. We are still waiting on financing, but will find out in about a week or two. Once that is finalized, we will start moving forward,” Barnhart said. He also added that he would restore the original marquee, currently the sign for Kessco Water. It’s just one more thing to look to this year.