Golden Drive-in

Golden Drive-in

Golden Drive-in
Strathdale, Bendigo 

Showing films from: 1955

The Golden Drive-in opened in December 1955 in the Strathdale area of Bendigo and was run by the Houlahan family.

The Golden Drive-in had one screen that could accommodate approximately 700 cars. The business closed in the 1980s and the area is now covered in housing, however remnants of the drive-ins past can be seen in the residential street names in the area, such as Hollywood Court, Goldwyn Court, Mayer Court.

Back to cinemas

6 Responses to Golden Drive-in

  1. i loved the old drive in in Bendigo , i remember going there with my girl friend now my wife of 40 odd years, (i said to her do you want to hop in the back seat ! and she says no i want to stay in the front with you )

  2. The surname of the family who ran the drive in was HOULAHAN not Houlihan
    My husband & I both worked at the Golden Drive In, Bendigo

    • Thank’s for the correction Robyn! Do you have any memories of the the Golden Drive-in? I never managed to find that much information about it – so hearing your experience of working there would be wonderful.
      Many thanks

  3. There was a (cement block? breezeblock?)kiosk and toilets located on the right hand side of the main parking area. I remember buying coke and dixie icecreams there. The parking area was laid in rolling tiers covered with gravel. Above that, and below the screen was a children’s play area with swings and slides. I spent quite a few memorable evenings there in the late 60’s and 70’s, not all of which involved watching the movie! It was surrounded by a chainlink fence. Access was through an entryway of St Aidans Rd, patrons exited into Crook St.(The theatre was across the road from the extensive paddocks and vege patches of St Aidans orphanage.)Mr Ted Driscoll worked there in the 70’s.

  4. My Dad laid the wiring & connected all the speakers to the posts. He was also one of the projectionists.
    They had to wait till all the cars left & then the next day check all the speakers &’repair the ones broken when people drove off with the speaker still attached to the car. They also had to wake several customers.
    In those days the film came in reels which had to be picked up from the railways, checked & spliced together. There were lots of beeps from horns when the reel came unstuck !
    Friday nights was kids night, everyone got a sweet as they drove through the gates, a favourite was the ” Chew chew ” bar, took all night to eat..The playground was a great place to catch up with friends whose parent also worked at the theatre & regular patrons.

  5. When we were still at school and didn’t have a car license my mate, Rob Iser, and I used to go out to the drive-in on our pushbikes. We would pay the full fare and then pull up to a speaker, as close as possible to the screen, and sit on the concrete block on the base while we watched the movies.
    Later, when I had a licence and a 1928 A Model Ford that didn’t have a heater, I would take with me a primus stove which I stoked up and placed on the floor in the back (which was flat) – to keep me and my girl friend warm. There was a switch, or button, on the speaker which enabled you to turn on a little red light on top of the speaker stand so that the refreshment vendors that serviced the theatre would drop by your car to sell you ice creams and drinks etc.Stories went around of people being smuggled into the theatre in the boots of cars. I never tried it myself either as a smuglor or smuglee.

Did you go to the cinema here, know something about its history? Share your memories and add a comment in the box below.