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. When we visited in 2011, the theater had been idle for years.
We found the place in a state of disrepair. All of the window speakers were gone. The concession stand’s roof was caving in, and the ticket booth had deteriorated significantly.
The marquee out front is from the Strand Twin Theater in Grafton.
The Lake Park Drive-In in Williston, which was the last operating Drive-In in the state, is now closed, leaving North Dakota with no more operating drive-ins. See this post for a list of operating Drive-In Theaters near North Dakota.
Update: we’re told the remains of the screen were taken down a couple years ago. The Stardust 17 is no more.
A couple years later, we visited another vacant Drive-In Theater, the Pineview Drive-In in Nebraska.
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
Author: Troy Larson
Troy Larson is an author, photographer, gentleman adventurer (debatable) from Fargo, North Dakota, and co-founder of Ghosts of North Dakota.