Stardust 17 Drive-In

By / August 15, 2011 / Points of Interest

In the course of his travels, Terry stumbled upon the Stardust 17 Drive-In on the west side of Grafton.  The Stardust held 300 cars and hosted movie showings for decades. According to one online account, the Stardust 17’s screen blew down in a windstorm in October of 1991.  There were some initial discussions about getting the drive-in going again, but cost put the brakes on a recovery.  The theater has been empty for years.

We found the place in a state of disrepair.  All of the window speakers are gone.  The concession stand’s roof is caving in, and the ticket booth has deteriorated significantly.

The Lake Park Drive-In in Williston is now closed, leaving North Dakota with no more operating drive-ins.

We were left with a nostalgic desire to attend a showing at a drive-in movie.  If anybody has more information on the history of this place, please leave your comments below.

Read more about the Stardust 17 and other Drive-In movie theaters here.

Photos by Troy Larson and Terry Hinnenkamp, copyright Sonic Tremor Media LLC

About Author

Troy Larson

Troy Larson is a father, husband, author, photographer, publisher and devoted cat person. Troy is the President of Sonic Tremor Media and co-founder of


Tom Pence

Good pictures. I can envision the speaker hanging on the window watching a double-feature.


I attended many movies all though high school at this drive! I even remember the grand opening…it was quite a spectacle! Too bad it was never restored. Lots of great memories.


Drive-ins are the best. There is on that is still open in warren MN. For those who don’t want to drive that far. My mom use to bring my sister and me to the dusk till dawn nights loved those nights cuz we got to stay up it morning.

jason klinnert

If you want to go to a drive in movie, just go to the sky-view drive in in Warren MN, not that far from grafton or grand forks or crookston. they don’t have window speakers anymore, they use the fm radio for the movie audio.

james f summers

I remember working at both the Strand and the Stardust back in 1980 to 1986. The Stardusk was packed in for the dusk to dawn movies


Guys – My late Mom lived in Grafton for several years, and we spent lots of time there. I had no idea that there used to be a drive-in theatre. Again, you’ve wowed me.

Your website is super, the writing is fantastic, and the photos are superb. Congrats!

Hope you are both well.


Keith Novak

This is the Historic Drive Inn where I discovered beer, friends, and girls. Many memories of long ago…

Mysterious One

Unfortunately, the Lake Park Drive-In, Williston ND, closed fall of 2011. :-(

Ted Green

Just a side note late this fall they took down the rest of the movie screen so that portion of the landmark and history is now gone.


Leave a Reply

Back to Top