The 66 Drive-In Theatre, Carthage, Missouri, along the Mother Road, Historic Route 66

66 Drive In Theatre in Carthage

Welcome to Carthage, Missouri, on Historic US Route 66

"The Mother Road" was established on November 11, 1926, and ultimately stretched 2,448 miles from Chicago to Los Angeles. Starting in Chicago, westbound travelers traversed a series of towns in Illinois before arriving in St. Louis.

Heading westbound in Missouri, the route traveled through St. Louis, Cuba, Springfield and into Carthage.

We've driven much of Route 66, including multiple segments across Missouri, and made visits to Carthage.

Carthage is a popular stop on Route 66 today, situated between Springfield and Joplin. It features numerous Route 66 attractions and other things to do, and offers a variety of overnight lodging options for travelers.

U.S. Highways 66 and 71 came through Carthage in the 1920s, and the town experienced a stream of cross-country traffic. One of the first concrete-paved portions of Missouri's highway system was the stretch of road west of Carthage to Joplin laid in 1920. Route 66 intersected with U.S. Route 71 at the present intersection of Central and Garrison Avenue. Route 66 was eventually re-routed, and replaced in the 1960s with Interstate 44 south of town.

Today, a popular attraction in Carthage is the 66 Drive-In Theatre ... highly recommended!!

Map showing the approximate location of Carthage on Historic Route 66 in Missouri
Map showing the approximate location of Carthage on Historic Route 66 in Missouri

66 Drive-In Theatre

This historic Theatre, opened in 1949, is located about 20 minutes east of Joplin on Route 66. Today, it remains much as it was originally built, including the neon sign, ticket booth, concession stand, playground, and the 66-foot high movie screen, although the movie screen itself has been updated. Newer technology is used to transmit sound to the cars.

The drive-in operated from 1949 through 1985, and after restoration, it reopened in 1998. It was added to the National Registry of Historic Places in 2003.

The drive-in usually opens the first weekend of April and runs through mid-September, depending on attendance and availability of films. Each weekend (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) during its season, the Theatre shows a family-friendly double feature. The movies are posted on the drive-in’s website by the Tuesday before the weekend.

The Theatre accepts only cash at the entrance gate. Cash and debit/credit cards are accepted at the concession stand. Gates open approximately one hour before showtime. The first show starts at dusk.

It is located at 17231 Old 66 Boulevard in Carthage. Contact the Theatre's website for detailed driving directions.

For more information, opening dates and show times,
visit the official website of the 66 Drive-In Theatre and 66 Drive-In Theatre on Facebook or phone 417.359.5959

66 Drive-In Theatre, Carthage, Missouri Neon sign at the 66 Drive-In Theater, Carthage, Missouri
Ticket booth at the 66 Drive-In Theatre, Carthage, Missouri


Interactive Map of the 66 Drive-In Theatre

Lodging Options in Carthage


Carthage, Missouri Travel Guide

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City of Carthage

Visit Carthage - Official Tourism Website

Carthage Chamber of Commerce

Jasper County Missouri

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Route 66 Association of Missouri


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