The Infamous Black Bird Southern Oregon History, Revised

Southern Oregon Drive-Ins

Starlite Drive-In, Medford, Oregon
Starlite Drive-In, Medford

Lippert Building Drive-In Outside of Medford, Ore.
    LOS ANGELES--Robert L. Lippert, vice-president of Screen Guild Productions, is building a new drive-in theatre on the outskirts of Medford, Ore. This will increase the number of his theatre holdings to 35.
    The Medford property was one of several theatre sites acquired by Lippert
when he purchased the nine-theatre circuit of Leverette Interstate Theatres situated in Oregon and northern California.
    The new theatre will have a capacity of 450 automobiles with individual speakers for each car. It is expected to be completed by early summer.

Boxoffice magazine, February 1, 1947, page 66-C

    J. Earl Henning, construction supervisor for the Robert L. Lippert Theaters, arrived here recently, and groundbreaking for the new Medford Drive-In Theater will take place this week, it was announced today by Matt Freed, district manager.
    The theater is to be of the most modern type and will accommodate approximately 400 cars. Individual speakers will be installed, and every modern convenience will be utilized.
    The Lippert Theaters now operate drive-ins in Fresno, Visalia, Modesto, Sacramento and Concord, all in California. They are particularly suitable, Freed stated, for patrons of the motion picture theater with large families, since the children can be kept with the parents and with no possibility of disturbing anyone in the audience. It is also a great convenience for people who smoke and those who wish to dress comfortably during the summer months.
    The theater will be open on or about May 15, and should prove a new and enjoyable experience for Southern Oregon and Northern California theatergoers.
Medford News, March 25, 1949, page 3

Two 'Drive-In' Theaters Open During Week;
Operation, Features Described
    With two new "drive-in" theaters opening their gates to the Medford public this week, many of these same residents have been asking questions about the operation and techniques of drive-ins.
    This type of theater was first conceived in 1936, and was tried out in Union City, N.J. It had none of the refinements now available to patrons and was not a success.
    Through the year following, improvements have been made until today a drive-in, with proper equipment, is considerably more convenient, in many ways, than the conventional theater.
Clear View
    Essentially, a drive-in is simply a big parking lot with a movie screen in front of it. But the lot is landscaped and tilted upward, permitting a clear view of the screen from both front and back seats. Rather than one big loudspeaker, each car is provided with an individual loudspeaker, which clamps on the inside of the car door. Volume can be controlled on each speaker.
    Operators of the two new outdoor theaters here have pointed out some of the features of the new projects which make them particularly attractive to families with small children, for invalids, for convalescents and for the hard of hearing. The projection booths are located in the middle of the parking area along with the refreshment stand and restrooms.
    They are "come-as-you-are" theaters with complete privacy in your own car, perfect visibility, refreshments available, smoking permitted at any time, no babysitters needed, no parking problems, freedom of movement, and you won't bother your neighbor if you like popcorn and peanuts with your entertainment.
Benefit Scheduled
    The Robert J. Lippert theater company drive-in the "Starlite" will have a special pre-opening preview for the benefit of the YMCA Wednesday, with regular opening on Thursday.
    The Valley Drive-In opened for the first time Sunday night to a large and curious crowd.
    The Valley Drive-In is located on the North Pacific Highway about a quarter-mile from the Medford city limits, on a lot behind the Niles Lumber Company.
    The Starlite is two and a half miles south of town on the Pacific Highway.
Medford Mail Tribune, June 7, 1949

June 8, 1949 Medford Mail Tribune, page 7
June 8, 1949 Medford Mail Tribune

Starlite Drive-In To Open March 17
    The Starlite Drive-In Theater on the Pacific Highway south will reopen March 17, it was announced today by Robert Corbin, new manager of the Lippert theaters here.
    The theater is now being overhauled and renovated, and the parking grounds are being rolled and resurfaced, Corbin said. An outstanding motion picture will be obtained for the opening performance, he added.
    Corbin also said that Doral Bevel, recently named manager of the Lippert theaters in Ashland, has been promoted to the managership of the Rialto Theater here. The two Ashland houses will be managed for a short time by G. F. Covell until he assumes charge of the drive-in.
Medford Mail Tribune, March 7, 1950, page 3

April 15, 1953 Medford Mail Tribune, page 15
April 15, 1953 Medford Mail Tribune

Six Theatres Return to Lippert Banner
    LOS ANGELES--Robert L. Lippert has repurchased six theatres he sold to Electro-Vision Corp. three years ago: namely, the Craterian and Holly theatres and Starlite and Valley drive-ins at Medford, Ore.; the Varsity in Ashland, Ore.; and the Broadway in Yreka, Calif. Lippert now operates 17 theatres in California and Oregon.
Boxoffice magazine, July 23, 1962, page W-4

Lithia Drive-In March 1, 1978 Medford Mail Tribune
March 1, 1978 Medford Mail Tribune

Last revised July 5, 2013