Adelaide’s last suburban drive-in cinema, the Mainline, will close after more than 65 years
The glow of the big screen will fade when the last suburban drive-in in Adelaide closes in early 2022.
- Mainline Drive-in at Gepps Cross will close in February 2022
- It has been around for over 65 years
- Its owners say several things, including COVID-19, have made it no longer viable
The owners of the Mainline Drive-in at Gepps Cross, about 10 kilometers north of the CBD, posted news of the cinema’s closure on social media on Monday.
“After operating for over 65 years, the Wallis family made the very difficult and emotional decision to go out of business at Gepps Cross Mainline Drive-in,” the statement read.
“It wasn’t a decision we made lightly, but with the changing nature of the movie industry, the introduction of daylight saving time, movie piracy and now the long-lasting COVID epidemic. -19, we all agree as a family that this is the best decision for the future of Wallis cinema. “
According to details on the State Library of South Australia website, the Mainline opened on Friday October 7, 1954, as the country’s first drive-in, walk-in theater.
It had capacity for customers watching in 500 cars, parking for 500 additional cars, and seating for 400 customers.
The main feature in the opening program was Roman Holiday by Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck.
However, the road to opening drive-ins in South Australia has been bumpy.
The “Morality” of Mid-Century Public Entertainment
The state parliament debated the proposed amendment to the Places of Public Entertainment Act in 1954, with a number of speakers concerned with “morality”.
Next, Hindmarsh MP Cyril Hutchens was most worried, arguing that opening drive-in cinemas would lead to “women in green French bathers, with their hair dyed red and matching accessories.”
“We must take all possible measures to preserve the morals of our young people and I am happy that we have legislation to deal with drive-in parks,” Hutchens said.
However, Norwood MP Don Dunstan, who became the state’s premier, disagreed.
“If people resort to motor cars for the purpose of immorality, they are unlikely to buy theater tickets and drive alongside other vehicles to do what they might otherwise do on a highway. isolated campaign, ”Dunstan said at the time.
The sun is setting on the drive-in
The Wallis family statement said the mainline will continue to broadcast films throughout the summer, with its final film due to air in February 2022.
And the Gepps Cross Sunday Market, which is also held at the drive-in venue, will continue to operate throughout the summer and “should continue to operate after the drive-in closes.”
Wallis Cinema’s other five seated cinemas in South Australia will remain in operation.