Location: Atherton Road, Mareeba
Capacity: 300 Cars
Operator: Norm Janke
Closed: 1998 - re-opened in 2002
OK, get the maps out for this one! Mareeba is located 62 KMS inland from Cairns. It is hot all year round and a great place to see a film under the stars - when the drive-in was still open.
The ticket box is waiting for you, don't think you can just drive through without paying though, a sensor loop under the road detects cars passing over it!
The Rodeo drive-in was built by Far Northern Theatres in the 1960's. They had a circuit that extended right through far northern Queenland and into Papua New Guinea. The circuit was sold to Birch Carrol and Coyle in the 1970's and operated most of its life as the place to go to the drive-in in the areas inland from Cairns. In the mid-1980's, BCC pulled out and the Rodeo was sold to the currect owner Norm Janke. Norm operated the drive-in until 1998 when he closed the venture.
This is the view of the screen from the projection room (above the snack bar). Films are still run every month to ensure all equipment is in tip top order!
The drive-in is currently for sale (contact Buddy for details). It is equipped with Century projectors and Strong xenon lamphouses. A complete snack bar with all facilities is included. All equipment is in very good order. Sound is via speakers, AM Cine-Fi or FM stereo. A standby generator is also on site. A residence is located behind the property.
The snack bar has a unique covered outdoor dining and viewing area in front of the kitchen and counter. With the projection room just up a flight of stairs and the ticket box detector, its all setup for single manning operation.
This drive-in has re-opened so make sure you take the trip inland from Cairns and see this classic Australian drive-in theatre.
Whilst speakers still hang on every post, AM and FM sound are available.
The projection room with Century DAW projectors and Strong X60C lamphouses, very neat and clean.
Buddy's hamburger rating 8/10. All photos by Buddy and Matthew October 1999. Thanks to Norm Janke.