In 1947, the Starlite Drive-In movie theater opened in Shawnee and for 40 years community members would often pile in their cars, hit the concession stand and watch the latest films on the theater's large 90-ft. screen.
For resident and 80-year-old Phyllis Stark, the Starlite was a place of fond memories with both friends and family.
Stark explained she and her husband moved to Shawnee in 1960 and would go to the Starlite for their date nights.
"We sat in the back row at the drive-in and we'd kiss and hug...," Stark said.
She explained as time moved on and her family expanded Stark and her husband would take their children to the Starlite and they too would have a fun time.
"We took the kids and they played in the rest area of the Starlite...," Stark said. "When they started driving, my daughter would take a group of friends with her to the movie theater and the kids really enjoyed it...,"
Griffith Theatres built the Starlite, which became Video Independent Theatres in the early 1950s and then partnered with Jones Theatres, Inc. in 1954.
According to the Jones Theatres Inc. website, in 1980, the drive-in became a triplex with the indoor Cinema Centre Twin and they shared a common lobby, concession area and a projection booth.
In 1987, the drive-in closed and the property was used to expand the indoor theater into an eight screen complex that is now Cinema Centre 8.
Stark explained she still visits the theater and enjoys watching popular movies.
"It's two totally different experiences and now you just sit and watch the movie whereas before you'd have to walk to the concession...but you'd see friends and people and you'd just sit and drink a Coke and talk and watch the movie...," Stark said.
Though times have changed and the experience of watching films has evolved over the years, Stark said she enjoys going to the movies and would go back to the drive-in if she could.
"My favorite thing about the about the drive-in was maybe the commendatory of going...you'd have a large group and watch the movie and drink a Coke...," Stark said.