810 Hungerford Drive (MD 355 at N. Washington St.), just north of downtown Rockville, Md.
capacity: 700 cars plus 150-seat outdoor viewing area
years of operation: 1954-81
currently: townhouse development
The K-B chain's lone entry into
the drive-in field, and the first and only drive-in in Montgomery
County. (Sidney Lust attempted to build one in Rockville in 1947
as a companion to his Beltsville ozoner, but was shot down by
local clergy and community groups.) The first drive-in in the
Washington area to adopt radio sound, in 1977.
"Just thought you might enjoy a very short memory of the Rockville Drive-in: In the summer of 1969, I had occasion to stay with an aunt, uncle and cousin who lived in Rockville, Md. I don't recall exactly when it was, but I stayed about a month or so. At my insistence one evening, I was able to convince my uncle and cousin that a trip to the drive-in theatre would be a great evening's entertainment. We loaded up into the VW microbus and headed out. We made our way to the Rockville drive-in theatre and caught a double feature of The Green Slime and The Birds. I wanted to see The Green Slime while the evil older female cousin wanted to see the more refined and dignified Hitchcock presentation of The Birds.
"As it was sometime around the fourth of July, 1969, the crowds were average as there evidently were not any protests against the Vietnam war that my cousin needed to attend. I had to suffer through The Birds before I could watch this cool new sci-fi movie. While the anticipation was great, the movie itself was a bit of a letdown. I can't say I remember the concessions or much else, save my uncle telling me some guy tried to sell him some acid outside the bathroom... And we wonder why the drive-in got such a bad reputation.
"All in all, for my first trip to an out of state drive-in (I live in Oklahoma City, which had 13 drive-ins) it was not a total waste. At least I have the memory!" -- Wesley Horton, American Institute of Drive-in Archaeology (We're not dead yet!)
Click here to see the 1981 USGS map depicting the
drive-in and surrounding area.
Below is an aerial photo of the drive-in from 1969:
"Here are two photos that were taken at the Rockville Drive In. These were taken in June of 1967. I believe that this was a pre-graduation event for Wheaton High School." -- Dean Evangelista
Got some additional information,
or some pictures or stories about this drive-in
you'd like to share? Email me -- thanks!