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Encyclopedia Dubuque

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DRIVE-INS

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Super20-1.jpg
Super 20 after it was moved west of the city.
Telegraph Herald, June 7, 1964. Image courtesy: Diane Harris
DRIVE-INS. Popular site of motion picture entertainment. Dubuque entered the drive-in business later than many communities. The Dubuque Drive-In opened in 1950.

Dubuque's second drive in, the Super 20, was built in 1964 by N. J. YIANNIAS on the site of the Venture store on Kennedy Road. When KENNEDY MALL opened, Yiannias moved the drive-in west on Highway 20 and added a second screen. The theater was equipped with a 70mm projector, one of only a dozen used in outdoor theaters across the nation at the time and the only one in Iowa.

By 1984 the two Dubuque drive-ins were among fifty-one remaining in Iowa and an estimated 2,900 still in operation in the United States. The peak of the drive-in business came in 1958 when an estimated 4,063 were in operation.