White Horse Pike Drive-In (Closed, NJ)

White Horse Pike LandmarkA white horse stands tall atop a towering post, in the center of the Lawnside Village shopping center. The last remnant of the White Horse Pike Drive-In Theatre.

 

If ever there were a mystery to solve about a drive-in, the White-Horse Pike Drive-In would be it! I pass this location almost daily and am astonished at the lack of information available on this drive-in. Usually my searches lead to numerous hits, resulting in time-consuming sorting through of information. However, I have hit a roadblock, a blockade! Here is what I can tell you about the drive-in:

 

  • The drive-in opened between 1963 and 1965. I know this because of Aerial shots of the location. The 1963 photo does not show any development of the drive-in. By 1965 the drive-in is visible from above. (http://historicaerials.com/)

 

  • The drive-in was owned by Sameric Theatres (Sam Shapiro). Sameric also owned the Black Horse Pike Drive-In Theatre. Sameric ran the Eric Theatres as well, including one in Pennsauken. Here is an advertisement from 1967 from the Courier Post newspaper: Sameric Movie Ads 050867 Courier Post

 

 

Okay, to sum it up:

White Horse Pike Drive-In Theater

  • Opened: Between 1963-1965
  • Closed: By 1969
  • Owned by Sameric Theatre Corp.

 

White Horse Pike Drive-In 310 White Horse Pike Lawnside, NJ 08045

White Horse Pike Drive-In
310 White Horse Pike
Lawnside, NJ 08045

 

 

Any additional information would be appreciated!

A huge thank you to John (http://www.flickr.com/photos/42444189@N04) – he provided the advertisements seen on this page. Check out his flickr page for local advertisements and photos. 

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8 comments

  1. I love your blog. Drive-in theaters have been a passion of mine for a long time. I saw your reference to Burger Chef being next to one of the drive-ins. As an aside I worked at Burger Chef back in Owensboro, KY, during the summers of ’72, ’73, and part of ’74. That was my first real job. I still (vaguely) remember the TV ads with this slightly overweight cartoon character, Burger Chef, and his sidekick, Jeff. Don’t recall what Jeff looked like. The restaurant is long gone.

    1. Thank you so much, Tom! Do you have any drive-ins left around your area? I had never heard of Burger Chef until I started investigating the White Horse Pike DI! The building is still standing, just used as a check-cashing place now. I picture it as an in-between 50s joint and McDonald’s. 🙂

  2. I can remember going to the White Horse DI as I child with my family it had swing sets up front next to the snack stand your parents could watch you play as they watched the movie. We also use to pull-up the boards on the stockade fencing running along the back and sneaking in grabbing a speaker off a post sitting on the ground in back watching for free. The horse was restored once before and put back up not this time though they removed the tower too. Sad. 😦

    1. Hi Larry! Thank you for the memory! I never got to see this drive-in (it was long gone before I was born), but I loved seeing the horse each day. I was hoping they might restore it again, to no avail.

  3. Nice research! Loved seeing the Eric/Sameric ad, too. I remember this drive-in (probably this one) as a very young child – only vague memories of a speaker in the car window and a snack bar that people walked up to. Then I recall a drive-in (WH?) closing while another (BH?) stayed open. I have a hunch the closure must have been close to ’69 for me to remember at all, but of course toddler memories aren’t exactly ironclad historical references.

    Oh yeah, I remember Burger Chef too. It was the same approximate vintage as Gino’s. 🙂

    1. (Or maybe I only remember the window speakers from Weber’s! The car radio system now seems familiar. Too young to recall much, except that I was fascinated with how the sound worked. 🙂 )

  4. Help wanted ads in the Camden Courier-Post in August and September 1966 were looking for part time help. “See Mr. Marconi.” An April 1967 ad wanted concession men, “Apply in person. Black Horse Pike Drive In or White Horse Pike Drive In” so they were connected.

    Cool Hand Luke was showing on Dec. 30, 1967 at the White Horse Pike. The Female and Aroused were the first two features at the White Horse Pike on Dec. 26, 1968. Advertisements for movies at the drive-in continued through March 1969.

    A story in the Courier-Post on Jan. 21, 1969 said the 1968 commercial development would be expanded. “Construction will include razing and relocation of the old White Horse Pike Drive-In Theater, (Mayor Hilliard T.) Moore added. The theater will be rebuilt on an 18-acre plot on Evesham Road.”

    1. Hi! Thanks for the information – without a subscription for the archives, I’m limited in my research. I wonder now what happened between March 1969 and the opening of PathMark and Two Guys. If there was an intended expansion, many things could have went wrong – from funds, to interest, to over-saturation of drive-ins in the area.

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