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Architects: Louis A. Arru
Previous Names: Keno Family Drive-In
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The Keno Family Drive-In opened on May 18, 1949 with Dennis Morgan in “The Time, the Place and the Girl”. It had a capacity for 850 cars. Initially it was a second run theatre operated by the Standard Theaters Management Corp. chain. It featured a miniature railway and pony rides in the play area.
It was the oldest operating drive-in theatre in the State of Wisconsin. The Keno Drive-In showed movies every night from May to October. It was closed at the end of the 2014 season.
Recent comments (view all 21 comments)
April 10, 2015 Chicago Tribune article on the Keno. Copy & paste to view.
Status is definitely now closed. Extremely unlikely to reopen, as property owner has terminated the lease with the company which operated the drive-in, and has publicly stated that it will not re-open. Ever. Plans have been submitted to redevelop the property for retail.
That is sad to see it had to close. That is what happens when the drive-in theatre operators do not own the property where the drive-in theatre sits on. I know a few drive-ins like that. The operators own the equipment (screen towers, concession stand, etc.) but not the land.
No Wal-Mart at Keno site; Plan Commission denies request to change land plan (Kenosha News, April 14, 2015)
PLEASANT PRAIRIE — The village’s Plan Commission on Monday night voted unanimously to deny alternatives to amend its comprehensive plan, including one that involved a proposal for a “big box” retailer at the site of the Keno Drive-In by property owner Steve Mills of Bear Development to change the comprehensive plan to allow for a 150,000-square-foot Wal-Mart supercenter. T The hearing was preceded by an informal two-hour “open village forum” which drew as many as 100 people, many supporters of keeping the drive-in open. Mills said that while his family enjoyed the drive-in, he acquired the property so it could be developed and said making the drive-in viability would require upgrades that would be “prohibitive financially.” Mills said people who want to support it should put together a non-profit organization, hold fundraisers to prove to donors that it can be viable. “But it’s not the responsibility of me or my family to provide that,” he said. Mills said he would be willing to support the community’s efforts if there was interest.
Eli Shai Riley, who attends LakeView Technology Academy, said he and a group of students have a proposal that would include the Keno Drive-In and want to work with Mills. Riley, Austin Skundberg and Nathan Davis described a plan to have a slightly downsized Keno Drive-In bolstered by restaurants. “We hope to work with Bear Realty to develop the best plan for everyone,” he said.
Joe Mangi, former Kenosha Unified School District superintendent, lauded the village for keeping the community family-oriented, though he said he did not want to see the village without the Keno.
“Why would we give up a 70-year-old jewel … for a big-box store?” he said. “It’s Pleasant Prairie. It isn’t Everywhere USA. Wal-Mart creates blight wherever they go. They’ll knock out the Piggly Wiggly. … They are like an amoeba. We have eight big-box stores in our community already,” he said. “We’ve got only one Keno Drive-In, and that is part of our history.”
Here is you tube video about the death of the Keno Drive-In HEREThe Keno Family Drive-In opened on May 18, 1949 with Dennis Morgan in “The Time, the Place and the Girl”. It had a capacity for 850 cars. Initially…
Keno Family Drive In Movie Theater Kenosha Wisconsin 8.5×11 Color B&W Photo
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