Opened in April, 1950, the Vero Beach Drive-in at 1475 8th Avenue accommodated 350 cars. It was operated by Rupert N. Koblegard Jr and two partners. The Koblegard family owned and operated several theaters in the state through their business, VeeBee Theatres Inc. Six years later, the 40’ wide screen was expanded to 76’ to accommodate CinemaScope widescreen films after Kobelgard sold the theater to First Southeast Corporation. Note the triangulated design and the buttressing of the screen in order to prevent hurricane damage.
Jack Chestnutt, Sr. was the manager through-out the entire 30 year tenure of the drive-in theatre. He cued up the very first movie shown at the Vero Drive-in, “Neptune’s Daughter” a musical comedy starring Esther Williams, Red Skelton & Ricardo Montalban. Admission was only 44 cents, and was free to children. Still, older kids used to sneak in through the woods in the back of the theater without paying. According to Chestnutt, it was ignored, as long as they patronized the snack bar.
It is anyone’s guess what the final movie was shown on closing night in 1980.