Last North Dakota drive-in screen bites the dust

Old Lake Shore Drive-In marquee

2011 photo by Robby Virus, used by permission

You might want to skip this post if you’re squeamish or easily saddened. The Williston (ND) Herald reported this week that redevelopment workers tore down the screen for the Lake Park Drive-In Theater, which closed there last year. Its superintendent said that the wreckage would be recycled, but I’m guessing that means chipping the wood instead of finding a new home for the screen.

If you want a happier memory, check the Bismarck Tribune’s 2010 tribute to the Lake Park. It spends an appropriate amount of space discussing rumors of the Lake Park’s closure and how the theater had changed since its owners bought the place in 1995. Former owner Jim Snyder told the Tribune that business at the Lake Park started slowing down in the 1990s. Hmm, most places saw big attendance drops before then.

Anyway, if you want a slender ray of good news, the Lake Park’s merry-go-round and swing set “are going to be restored and given to a local family.” For a few more details, plus a photo of the screen’s final hour on earth, go read it.