Drive-In Theater Attracts Medford Motorists

Sep 6, 2013

  Residents of Medford, Ore., had a new source of entertainment when the Robert L. Lippert Theaters Co. opened a drive-in theater in the summer of 1949. 

 The drive-in advertised the comfort of watching movies while seated in the family car and facing a huge movie screen.  The landscaped lot that tilted up toward the screen offered viewing for up to 643 cars.The concrete screen tower had a modern design, and the grounds included a children’s play area and benches for walk-in patrons.  Each car had access to an individual loudspeaker with volume controls that gave spectators privacy. A projection booth building in the middle of the parking area sold refreshments and had restrooms close by. Whole families could come in one car, eliminating the need for a babysitter.   The theater offered a special YMCA benefit preview on June 8 and opened for regular business the next night. A storm blew out the glass in the marquee in 1951, and later storms forced its replacement in 1965. The Starlite was a popular theater until Americans began watching home movies on TV and going less often to big-screen theaters.  The drive-in closed in 1987 and was destroyed later by vandals and fire.    Sources: Truwe, Ben.  Jackson County Looking Back. Vol.  II .  Canada. The Pediment Group, Inc. 2012 . 52. II vols. Print.; “Construction  Of  New Drive-In Theater Planned.” Medford News Ed. Tina Truwe, 25 Mar. 1949. Web. 13 Aug 2013:; “Lippert  Building  Drive-In  Outside of  Medford, Ore.” Ibid. Boxoffice Magazine 1 Feb. 1947. Print; “Two Drive-In Theaters Open During Week; Operation, Features Described.”  Ibid. Medford Mail Tribune 7 June 1949; Roe, Ken.  Cinema Treasures, Web.13 Aug 2013