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