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Tri-State Drive-In Theater

300 S. Tri-State Rd, Poplin, MO

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The theater is now completely gone with the possible exception of some foundation slabs.

The Tri-States Drive-in opened in 1948 and closed in the 1988. With room for 500 cars full of moviegoers there were undoubtedly a lot of good times here. A fair number of who showed up to watch the 1958 comedy movie "No Time for Sergeants" starring Andy Griffith in the late 1950s.

An interesting note is that in 1953 the theater operators booked a live circus including the typical circus animals, you know, elephants and lions and such along with the usual performers like acrobats and jugglers and probably clowns and more to perform for a week. I wish I could have been there to see that. I'm guessing they set the circus up on the edges of the property.

Some time after it closed in 1988 it began to be used as part of an automotive recycling business. In 2016 the parking area was full of cars making for a kind of ghostly image with an old drive-in theater full of equally derelict cars. In the fall of 2017 the screen had been completely taken down.

The theater was located at 7th St. (Route 66) & Tri-State Road.

Photo(s): 2016



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xDid You Know: Many parts of the old 4 lane Route 66 were reverted to a 2 lane road after 66 was realigned to the interstate. In many places the abandoned lanes are still there.