History Behind The Cedar Hill Drive-In

By Jessica Volz and Cameron Rodgers

Built in 1948, the Cedar Hills Drive-In movie theatre was once a hot spot for local movie goers to catch a flick, but over the years it has become home to a variety of businesses that has contributed to its colorful history.

As the drive-in trend began to fade, the theatre was bought out in 1969. According to former employee Marty Hamrick, the theatre was renamed the Playboy which, as you could guess, was a problem for the infamous Hugh Hefner. After a visit from Hefner’s attorney the theatre was then named Playtime 3, a theatre that played X-rated movies. But problems arose as the land it was built on became of more interest to people than the theatre itself.

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Courtesy of cinematreasures.org, Photo by Member Jeterga

 “The properties became more valuable than the operations,” says former general manager Robert Rodriguez, “the city started encroaching on the property because we all started outside of city limits or, ya know, as far as we could so we could have the privacy that we needed.”

The owner of the building was shot in a burglary in 2008, so once again it went up for sale but this time it was purchased by a church. Author Tim Gilmore said the new owners found the old paraphernalia from Playtime 3 and decided to have a bonfire that made national headlines.

“They burnt them and it made national news… they said things about releasing devils into the air and so on.”

As of now, those driving down Blanding Boulevard can only see the shell of what once was a place that provided cinematic entertainment for all kinds of audiences throughout the years.