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.
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