County's First Drive-in

Theater Forced to Quit


Wood County's first drive-in movie enterprise,

Maxwell's Outdoor Theater, 9 miles south of

Marshfield on highway 13, will close after the

show Monday evening, June 29, on orders of

the Industrial Commission of Wisconsin.

The Commission has ordered Walter Maxwell,

owner and operator of the theater, to comply

with its order for individual in car speakers for

each car accommodated in the ramp area of

the theater, or close as of July 1.

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Maxwell's theater has the "blast type" speakers

used at ballparks, race tracks and other outdoor

entertainment places, but the commission

contended at a hearing with Maxwell that this

type of speaker is "unsafe" when people sit

inside their cars to view a picture. The code for

outdoor theaters was put into effect in June, 1952,

and contains provisions regarding the type of

tower, toilets, speakers and other equipment

allowable at this type of theater.

It also contains a provision that the screen should

not be so placed as to be visible from any highway.

Maxwell is prepared to meet all the provisions in

the code with the exception of the individual in-car

speakers, which he contends are not practical.

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Maxwell says that the coming of 3-D movies, the

"blast type" speaker will have a big advantage

over the in-car system, since only a system of A

and B speakers mounted at both sides of the car

will work with the stereophonic sound system

envisioned for Cinemascope , while the "blast type"

speaker would need no change.

Maxwell started construction of his theater in August,

1951, and it opened for the first time last fall.


Article from June 29, 1953 Marshfield News-Herald