"Drive-in" to the Movies!

Before and after of the Pine Motor Theater.
The News Review, May 31, 1950, p17, Historic Oregon Newspapers.
Layout plan for the upcoming Pine Motor Theatre.
The News Review, October 6, 1949, p10, Historic Oregon Newspapers.
















     Besides movie-going being a popular form of entertainment for most towns, there are different types of venues that started to emerge. Drive-in theaters were the next best thing and cool new twist when it came to the continuing expansion of movie-going experiences. The first drive-in to be built in Roseburg, Oregon was known as, The Pine Motor Theater which opened in May of 1950. Not only could you just drive up, but you got to stay in your own car and combine both comfort and excitement. This new addition took about 7 months to build and was imagined by local designer and engineer, James R. Daugherty. Located at the corner of Alameda and Vine in North Roseburg, this popular destination was just the newest attraction in the line-up of theaters provided by Donn Radabaugh and Eine Hemile, the owners of Umpqua Amusement Company. In the picture provided to the top left, it shows the before and after of Roseburg's recently developed attraction. It also provided information regarding the manager Bob Elliot, as well as the most updated form of equipment that was going to be used for maximum entertainment. This 12 acre lot would include a range of buildings such as a box office, a snack bar, and a screen tower, which can be seen in the layout plan to the right.


Promotion for Walt Disney's screenings.
The News Review, May 31, 1950, p25, Historic Oregon Newspapers.

     The theater itself was desirable by a growing population in need of new forms of entertainment and excitement with the continuing expansion of motion pictures. This is clear when looking at the coverage of the theater's construction, as it was followed from the initial proposal to opening day. Everyone wanted to see the 52ft high and 60ft wide screen, that would be the talk of the town. The screen that would soon play Walt Disney’s, “Melody Time” in technicolor and the modern take of watching, is what brought so much attention to places such as the Pine Motor Theater. Continuing with modernity, seen in the photo below, the snack bar was the most desirable aspect as it was, “something new in motion picture entertainment”, as having a concessions bar to this extent just provided even more likeability for the theater. With the addition of color and the snack bar, the cherry on top was the accessibility for town members who otherwise would find it difficult to walk, attend indoor shows, or who were handicapped. The obvious place for families and friends to gather and enjoy films from the comfort of their automobiles, was just the next step for theaters in Roseburg and across Oregon to continue their expanding ideas of what theatrical exhibition can look like. From silent films to sound, all the way to watching technicolor in the front seat of your car.

The popular snack bar provided by the theater.
The News Review, May 31, 1950, p25, Historic Oregon Newspapers.


The News Review. “Pine Motor Theater to Open Thursday.” Historic Oregon Newspapers, 31 May  1950, p.17.

The News Review. “Drive-In-Theater Construction Soon to Start.” Historic Oregon Newspapers, 06 October 1949, p.10.

The News Review. “Walt Disney’s Melody Time Packaged Fun and Fantasy Attraction at Pine Motor.” Historic Oregon Newspapers, 31 May 1950, p.25.

The News Review. “Snack Bar Something New for Patrons of Drive-In.” Historic Oregon Newspapers, 31 May 1950, p.25.