Reader Dennis Keener wrote to me after my recent post mentioning the Collinsville Drive-In.
On that post, Mark had mentioned another Collinsville landmark, a discount store. He wondered if that had been in the same place as the drive-in; Dennis offered his own memories on that!
Dennis writes: “The site of the Collinsville Discount store was where the Rutter’s store sits now. Before the discount store it was an auction house. At the time it was a very popular gathering place because most people did not own a TV. Being a little boy I would sit on my dad’s shoulders to watch the auctioneer. If my memory serves me correctly they auctioned new items. The place was packed with people all the time. Another unique thing about the place was that in the warmer months they also had a drive-in movie theater. The screen was mounted on the southern end of the building and had speaker posts in the parking lot like all other drive-ins. My memory of this would be in the 1940s to the mid-50s. Exactly when it changed to a discount store I’m not sure. My first memory of the discount store is about 1959.”
Gladys and Kenneth Wright posed for a photo in front of the 1940 Chevrolet Coupe they took to a drive-in movie in Collinsville in 1952. The couple fell asleep in the car during the movie and when they awoke, the drive-in was empty; they shared that story as part of the YDR’s “Remember” series feature on drive-in movies.
Dennis continues: “The Collinsville Drive-in was at its present location when the auction house existed, if my memory is still accurate. I took a girlfriend or two there for ice cream, one being my wife for 46 years. We also took our children and grandchildren there.”
Thanks for the memories, Dennis! I certainly am not as familiar with that area as I am with more northern parts of the county, so I really appreciate it!