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Center celebrates drive-ins

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Starlight Drive-In

“Starlight Drive-In [Screen],” Neligh, Neb., is one of 42 photographs from the series “Sunset Drive-In” by Michael Flecky, S.J. on exhibition Jan. 26 to May 18 at the Betty Strong Encounter Center. Admission is free. (Michael Flecky, S.J. photos)

“Sunset Drive-In,” 42 images from a series of photographs documenting the once-thriving visual culture and architecture of drive-in movie theaters, will open at noon Saturday at the Betty Strong Encounter Center. Admission is free.

The images were photographed by Michael Flecky, S.J., professor of Photography in the Fine and Performing Arts Department at Creighton University. The show will run through May 18.

For the Encounter Center show, Flecky selected more than 40 photographs from hundreds of images he has made over more than a quarter century. His photographs have been described as eloquent in their composition and presentation – visual records of a bygone but fondly remembered era in our nation’s cultural history.

“Sunset Drive-In” includes photographs of drive-in theaters still operating in Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota and other parts of the country, as well as sites abandoned long ago. Black-and-white and color photographs recall stories of an era when leisure time for many Americans celebrated automobiles, snack foods and movies under the stars.

Sioux City’s Highway 75 Drive-In, which opened in the late 1940’s, closed in 1988, ending the drive-in movie era in Sioux City.

The Center is located on the Missouri Riverfront, exit 149 off I-29. Admission is free. For more information, visit or call (712) 224-5242.


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