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Sun. Jul 14th, 2024

‘End of an era’: Motor-Vu Drive-In will soon be demolished to make way for housing

By Vaseline May27,2024

RIVERDALE, Weber County – Trees around the now-closed site of a Riverdale drive-in are falling, and demolition of the fencing, entry and other structures is imminent as steps are taken to convert the site into a housing project .

“It’s definitely the end of an era,” said Brandon Cooper, director of community development at Riverdale. There are now only four drive-ins left in Utah, according to DriveInMovie.com, a website aimed at promoting and preserving the outdoor theaters.

News of the impending demise of Coleman’s Motor-Vu Drive-In emerged publicly in 2022, when the owners announced that films would no longer be shown until further notice. At the same time, news emerged that the 20-acre site where the drive-in is located had been rezoned to accommodate housing. The drive-in opened in 1947 and the site also hosted a weekend swap meet in later years.

According to Cooper, the redevelopment initiative – which will call the location Coleman Vu Estates – appears to be running at full speed. Trees have been razed at 1050 West, near the site entrance, and Cooper said demolition will begin next week. The asphalt will be removed and the screens showing movies will be torn down, as will the covered drive-thru entrance where moviegoers once paid for their tickets.

Tooele-based Goldcrest Homes is the developer and development plans call for 68 homes to be built at the site at 5369 S. 1050 West. Beginning in June, the site’s infrastructure will be developed – utilities, sidewalks, curbs and roads – followed by construction of some of the first homes, possibly starting later this summer. “It’s a phased approach,” Cooper said.

The site of the old Coleman's Motor-Vu Drive-In, located in Riverdale, was photographed Thursday.  The process to demolish the drive-in has started.
The site of the old Coleman’s Motor-Vu Drive-In, located in Riverdale, was photographed Thursday. The process to demolish the drive-in has started. (Photo: Tim Vandenack, KSL.com)

When news of the Motor-Vu plans first emerged, many publicly shouted, recalling evenings spent watching movies on site. The nostalgia seems to have disappeared now.

“We’ve had a few things. Nothing like it when the property was going through the entitlement process,” Cooper said. Most people, he thinks, have become aware of the fact that Motor-Vu will disappear.

The remaining drive-ins in Utah are the Basin Drive-In in Mount Pleasant, the Echo Drive-In in Roosevelt, the Erda Drive-In in Tooele and the Redwood Drive-In in West Valley City, according to DriveInMovie.com.

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