Beltsvilles Sidney Lust Drive-In

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I found this on and thought it would be of interest to visitors to this site as part of Beltsvilles History.

Beltsville Drive-In
US 1, Beltsville, Md.
capacity: 700 cars on an 11-acre lot
years of operation: 1947-87
currently: Costco store

Built for $189,000 and originally named the Sidney Lust Drive-In after its founder, this drive-in was much vaunted at its opening for its beautiful Colonial-style screen tower and its elaborate playground, including a merry-go-round, train and boat rides.

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Beltsville Drive in 1947-1948

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Beltsville Drive in 1947-1948

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Beltsville Drive in Snack Bar – 1947-1948

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Beltsville Drive in Rest Room & Projection Room – 1947-1948

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Beltsville Drive in 1947-1948

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1940s photo of Sidney Lust Drive-In screen tower.

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Opening Night Ad from July 10, 1947.

They began showing exclusively X-rated movies in the ’70s and changed name after the Lust Circuit sold it in 1976. Needless to say the fancy playground was retired by then.

Washington-based filmmaker Jeff Krulik, of Heavy Metal Parking Lot fame, made a documentary in 1988 called Twenty-Five Cents Before Noon, about the passing of the area’s grand old movie palaces.

It includes a minute-long segment devoted to the Sidney Lust Beltsville Drive In, with various interior and exterior shots and commentary from an employee of the still-open theatre.

Heres is “Twenty-Five Cents Before Noon” on YouTube. You can skip to the 6 minute mark.

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Photos: Originally from the 1947-48 Theatre Catalog

Photo Credits: Special thanks to Wesley Horton