End of an era: screen at Linton Drive-In collapses

Yesterday, the local area experienced especially strong winds throughout the day. Although those winds have continued into today, they will be less strong with the National Weather Service saying to expect only, “[s]outhwest wind 7 to 13 mph with gusts as high as 21 mph.”

With such strong winds typically comes wind damage, though, and an icon of Linton’s past — the screen to the Linton Drive-In — finally collapsed yesterday apparently due to those winds.

Opened in 1948, the Linton Drive-In was reportedly one of the earliest drive-ins to be built in Indiana. All that remained of those golden years was the projection screen, though, and yesterday’s collapse will make the site become just part of local history — and personal memories now too.

Mention the “old Drive-In” in Linton, and the reminiscing will begin with stories of then-teenager’s first jobs, first kisses (and perhaps more) while on dates there, sneaking in under the fence or in the trunk of the car, and the overall fun times with family and friends. From time-to-time, rumors have popped up over the years about reviving and rebuilding the local drive-in to its former glory, but nothing has ever come of those to-date.

In speaking with the owner, he has absolutely no plans to rebuild the property into a drive-in, he said. The six-acre site on Highway 54 East remains for sale, though, should the entrepreneurial spirit hit someone for reviving the site into another new drive-in or other business venture. It is currently owned by local businessman Edward L. Guthrie, who purchased it in 1998, according to courthouse records. Serious inquiries may reach Guthrie to discuss a purchase by phone at (812) 798-7569.

Linton Drive-In’s screen collapsed in high winds on Thursday, November 19th, 2020

File photos, The Lintonian, 2020

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