Hastings Drive-In Theater at Highway 6 & South Wabash Ave. opened in 1949.  Ground breaking for the drive-in was held on February 12, 1949.   Opening ads for the drive-in were in the May, 19, 1949 addition of the Hastings Daily Tribune.  In April of 1951, new playground facilities were installed.  Hastings Drive-in Theater was sold by its original owner in 1984.  The new owners kept the theater running for about a year.  It was closed down permanently  around 1985.

The Drive-in was only open on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.  Thursday night was family night - which was better known as Buck night.  On Buck night admission was $ 1.00 per vehicle.

How many of you remember our trips to the concession stand when we had money to spend?  We could buy hot dogs, burgers, candy, cotton candy & pop.  If we had enough money, we could even order pizza which they would bring out to our car when it was ready.  If a bunch of girls went together to the movie, they usually brought their own popcorn & drinks from home.

Some of the kids from our class tried to sneak in friends by hiding them in their trunk.   After they paid the admission fee,  they drove to the back, turned off their car lights and let the kids out of the trunk.  Once their friends were seated in the car, they would proceed to the parking spot they wanted.
For a while, it was great fun to sneak into the drive-in by turning off car lights and driving in through the exits.   This didn't last long as the owners got wise to this and put in spikes at the exits.  If a car drove over the spikes from the wrong directions the tires were immediately flattened!


At the peak of the late 50's for America's Drive-ins  there were over 40 Drive-ins operating in the state of Nebraska.  However, since that time 93% of them are no longer in existence.  They have been closed down or demolished.  Currently there are only 3 Drive-ins remaining in operation in Nebraska.
  • Kearney Drive-in  (308-237-2783))
    2318 Avenue N

    Kearney, Nebraska 68847

Kearney Drive-in opened in 1950 and is the oldest of Nebraska's  remaining outdoor cinemas .  It is the largest of the remaining Drive-ins in Nebraska and has a capacity for 400 cars.    Audio for the movies' soundtrack is provided by the traditional Drive-in speakers as well as a local radio signal.  The Drive-in is open seasonally  May -Labor Day.  Double features are shown seven nights a week. .

  • Starlite Drive (402-887-5021)
    Highway 275 East
    Neligh, Nebraska 68756

Starlite Drive-in opened in 1952, it is a single screen venue and has a capacity for 300 cars. Some of the old traditional Drive-in pole speakers remain there, but are there only for nostalgia. Audio for the movies' soundtrack is provided by a local vicinity radio broadcast. The Drive-in is open April-September. Double features are shown three nights a week - Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

  • Sandhills Drive-in (308-762-2913)
    2617 Country Route 57 (7 miles east of town)
    Alliance, Nebraska 69301

Sandhills Drive-in opened in 1994 and is the newest of Nebraska's remaining Drive-ins.  It is a single screen venue and has a capacity for 250 cars.  Sandhills Drive-in is open seasonally, June -September. 

Like the milkman, and paperboy, the drive-in theater has almost become a relic of the past!  Those of us who grew up in Hastings during the fifties still remember our excitement when Hastings Drive-in opened.