Crossroads Drive-In

Crossroads Drive-In

Crossroads Drive-In
Corner Deakin Avenue and 15th Street, Mildura
Also known as X-Roads
Showing films from: 1963

In the 1960s Mildura had enough cinema audiences to keep two drive-ins running: 16th Street Drive-In and Crossroads Drive-in – both were within a stones throw of each other. The Crossroads Drive-in was the second of Mildura’s drive-ins and was located in Deakin Avenue close to 15th Street.

The drive-in was run by Len Nulty who was part of a large family of cinema operators who managed circuits in northeast Victoria and South Australia. The Nultys had started out as traveling picture showmen driving around the country. They began with a truck showing films at mechanics institutes and public halls before setting up permanent cinemas in a number of towns. Len Nulty who had been managing the Rex in Charlton (then called the Roxy) decided to move up to Mildura and ran first the Crossroad Drive-in and later Cinema Deakin in the center of town.

The Crossroads, which was also referred to as ‘X-Roads’, had capacity for 425 cars. It was located on a site that was on the outskirts of town and, in the 1960s, was surrounded by agricultural farms and orchards.

Fiction was not the only type of films screened at Crossroads, for example in June 1971 the documentary Elvis: That’s the Way It Is (1970, dir. Denis Sanders) was screened; the film documented Elvis Presley’s Summer Festival in Las Vegas during August 1970. The drive-in also screened older films that had been around the circuit a few times, for example the day before the Elvis film was due to start, Winchester ’73 the 1950s classic western directed by Anthony Mann and starring James Stewart was lighting up the Mildura night sky. Sadly, this was the very same night that the lights went out at the Ozone cinema in Langtree Avenue when it closed for the last time in June 1971.

Crossroads lasted the longest of Mildura’s two drive-ins, operating until the late 1980s.

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2 Responses to Crossroads Drive-In

    • Everyone in the district would have gone to the two Drive-ins at some time. A weekly event for many families.I think Wed was Westerns night at one of them. Good place to go if you had a baby because it can sleep in the car and not disturb other patrons. Popular with courting couples and carloads of teens. Panel vans were reversed into space so you could sit at the back and watch from there. Tuckshop, playground, safe space for kids to roam around and socialize unaccompanied. We sat in cars, or on grass up close to the screen. NO CRIME or antisocial activity. Worst that would happen is teens would hide in car boot to get in free. So sad to learn the Drive-ins are gone.

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