Main Page / About Us
What's New
Map of Open Drive-Ins
Master List of Drive-Ins in:
  Virginiaeastern W. Va.
Thanks to...Contact us

USA Freedom Corps - Make a Difference.        Volunteer.

Colonial Drive-In
Forest Drive at Solomons Island Rd. (MD 2), Annapolis, Md.
capacity: 700 cars
years of operation: 1955-67
currently: Forest Plaza shopping center

Part of the Baltimore-based Durkee chain. Features included outdoor patio seating, a lighted playground with seats and speakers next to it for the parents, and a screen whose advertised size was over 7000 square feet. Debut feature was Pete Kelly's Blues starring Jack Webb. Durkee also operated most if not all of Annapolis' indoor houses -- the Circle, Capitol and Playhouse. The shopping center that replaced the drive-in included a new indoor theatre, also called the Colonial; it is now the Annapolis Cinema Grill.
"[In the late '50s] we went to the Colonial for Easter sunrise services. My parents would pack us into the car with our Easter baskets, my sisters would still be in their PJ's." -- Bill Hunt

A wide aerial view of the Colonial, from 1967. In foreground is the Plaza Theatre, built by Durkee the previous year.

Below are close-ups of the snack bar and playground, and the marquee at the corner of Route 2 and Forest Drive.

Source photo for above by Stu Whelan; from the Maryland State Archives.
This online Boxoffice magazine article from 1956 includes ground/floor-level photos of the snack bar and playground, and an architect's drawing of the floor plan.

Click here to see an earlier aerial photo (circa 1957) of the drive-in and surrounding Parole area. An old racetrack is shown where the Parole Shopping Center would be built later, across from the drive-in. Courtesy of the Maryland State Archives.

   Got some additional information, or some pictures or stories about this drive-in
   you'd like to share?
Email me -- thanks!

Bookmark and Share