Since the advent of home video and the multiplex, the drive-in theater has been on the decline. Now, the transition to digital projection is threatening to end the drive-in for good, as more of the few remaining theaters are closing every year. This is the former Pineview Drive-In in Long Pine, Nebraska, where many magical memories were made. This site is just off Highway 20/7, on the county line between Rock and Brown Counties.
We arrived to find the owner has thoroughly fenced the entire site and posted the property, so we respected the owner’s wishes and took our photos from outside the fence.
Pineview opened in 1954 as an independently operated drive-in theater.
On busy nights, cashiers worked both sides of the booth. Before the carload pricing model, your friends had to hide in the trunk until you were past this booth, lest you have to pay for every individual in the car.
The playground was always a great place to meet other kids who went to different schools. Plenty of school days romances began here under the pink and orange hues of the Nebraska sky at dusk.
I’ve seen a few drive-ins in my day, but I’ve never seen one that was constructed entirely from a timber framework like this.
We photographed the remains of another drive-in, Stardust 17 in North Dakota a few years ago.
The gravel road on the left (above) marks the county line between Rock and Brown Counties.
Below: This is where the railroad behind the drive-in used to be. It’s now a recreation route called the old Cowboy Trail.
Photos by Troy Larson and Terry Hinnenkamp, copyright © 2017 Sonic Tremor Media