If you find yourself traveling down State Road 13 in Indiana, you will likely pass one of Wabash’s most prized nostalgic landmarks: the 13-24 Drive In.
A short distance north of the intersection with Federal Road 24, the 13-24 Drive In has brought movie lovers together for 65 years.
You may think of the 13-24 Drive In as the perfect spot to spend a star-filled summer night, but did you know it holds quite a bit of Wabash history? Let’s take a quick peek on the 13-24 Drive In’s past.
A Look Back at 65 Years
In 1949, Hoosier native Truman Rembusch began construction on the original location, then known as the Wabash Drive-In.
By 1951, the Wabash Drive-In was up and running, and had the capacity to hold 750 cars. The venue had a drive-through ticket booth, concession and kiddie train, state-of-the-art speakers and elevated parking.
At this time, the Wabash Drive-In had one of the largest projection screens of its day, towering 58 feet above moviegoers and extending 44 feet across. The screen also boasted a screen that could be viewed from 397 feet away, which was the longest in the state of Indiana at the time.
How the Drive-In Got its Name
The owners of the Wabash Drive-In knew the business needed an enticing name to draw in visitors. Prior to opening, the owners invited the Wabash community to participate in a contest to name the drive-in.
Out of 235 entries, the winner was Mrs. Don Alger, who dubbed it the 13-24 Drive In, which represented the intersecting roads. Shortly after the winning name was chosen, the logo—featuring the two road signs visitors pass as they arrive to the theater—was created.
Even after 65 years, the 13-24 Drive In still sports its original logo.
The Honeywell Foundation Lands the Theater
In 2011, the 13-24 Drive In was in jeopardy of closing its doors. Thankfully, two long-time supporting families - Michael and Angie Beauchamp, and Parker and Katie Beauchamp - partnered with The Honeywell Foundation to save the theater. Both families graciously turned over the reigns to the Foundation, and, we continue to manage and operate the theater to this day.
Fun Fact: In 2015, Yahoo! Travel named 13-24 Drive In the “Most Romantic Weekend Getaway in Indiana.” This past summer, we celebrated a record-breaking season with 29,332 guests!
Summer Will Be Back Before You Know It!
The 13-24 Drive In proudly holds the same sentiment it did 65 years ago - the perfect venue to spend a warm summer night while enjoying the latest and greatest movies.
We’re open seasonally from May to October, rain or shine. We show one movie every Friday and Saturday night, plus our crowd-pleasing “Retro Reels” on Thursdays.
Admission is $5 for adults and free for children 12 and under, thanks to the support of Wabash’s own INGUARD . If you’re looking to save money this summer, plan ahead and buy in bulk: Season passes are available for $40. Visit www.1324drivein.com for the latest information.