Opened: 28 September 1962
Location: Sturt Hwy Barmera
Capacity: 200 Cars
Operator: Wallis/Dave Waterman/Kevin Williams/Geoff Harris
Closed: September 2008
The Riverland drive-in was situated on the shores of Lake Boney in the riverland district of South Australia. Formally built and operated by Wallis drive-in theatres, it was closed by them on Febuary 2nd 1988.
This is what was showing on May 20, 2000, a Russell Crowe double. If you happen to miss the sign on the Sturt Hwy just out of Barmera, there is no way you could miss the screen, which is surrounded by palm trees.
The drive-in was then purchased and re-opened in July 1991 by Dave Watermanlater by Kevin Williams and finally Geoff Harris.
A boom gate at a drive-in? Situated on the ticket booth is an intercom system, if you arrive after the movie has started, buzz the attendant who then opens the boom gate remotely. Make sure you then pay at the snack bar! A clever system. Photos Matthew Kilderry and Buddy May 2000.
The Riverland drive-in provided movies for the towns of Barmera, Renmark, Loxton, Berri and Waikeri - all of which possessed their own drive-ins in the past, but closed long ago. A video on youtube shows the drive-ins last night. It finally gave way due to lack of interest by most of the locals. The few loyal supporters were not enough to keep it going.
Sit back and relax in your Charger as the film rolls and the breeze sways the palm trees and you sip on a cool drink.
Double features played at this drive-in with carload discounts every night and an even better deal on Sundays. Sound was provided by speakers or FM stereo and patrons may leave the heat of their cars in Summer for the outdoor seating area located in front of the snack bar. A childrens playground resides behind the snack bar and projection room building.
This Mexican style cantina, I mean canteen, has seats under the veranda and is ringed in chaser lights.
Old style swings and slide still exist at the Riverland drive-in. I can swing higher than you.
These Wallis drive-in speakers and junction box are still painted in their original colours. These speakers were unique to Wallis drive-ins and I have not seen them anywhere outside of South Australia. The volume control pot is at the bottom.
Make sure you visit the Riverline drive-in on your next visit to the Murray riverland area. If you live close by, I am envious, because this drive-in exudes a Mexican charm and captures the spirit of outdoor movies in desert Australia.