Drive In Ticket Booth–Wadena, Minnesota

The ticket booth from the now-closed drive-in theater in Wadena, Minnesota.

I hesitate to guess how many times I drove by this place in my formative teenage years in Wadena, Minnesota. The drive in was owned and run by the family of my friend Dave. His dad, Rich, spent many nights from April through September sitting in this spot, collecting money from the kids going to the drive in with a 12-pack of Old Milwaukee (or one of their friends) in the trunk, or a young couple looking for a spot to park that may not always have had the best view of the screen. The other cool thing about the drive in was that my friend Dave ran the projector. We could always stop by to chat on our way to the concession stand or find out if anyone else we knew was at “the show” that night. Paying taxes on land for a business that you don’t operate year-round is not a great money making proposition, so eventually the Wadena Drive In went the way of so many others. In fact, as of today, there is 1 drive-in that is still in business in the Twin Cities metro area, the other being sold and the land will be the future site of another Wal Mart. Like many people, I wax nostalgic for the days when we really had it pretty good and didn’t realize it at the time. So this is my homage to the Wadena Drive-In, a great place to do some growing up, for better or worse, and a place run by some hard working people. Dave still runs the Cozy Theater, a great art deco marquee stands out front. If you are in Wadena, pay it a visit, or at least stop in for a bucket of popcorn for less than half of what you pay at home.


4 thoughts on “Drive In Ticket Booth–Wadena, Minnesota

  1. There is a drive in theater in Long Prairie to this day, Tho it would be super cool to revive the one in Wadena I bet it would get tons of support today =)

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