Port Elliot South Coast
Location: Elliot Road, Port Elliot
Capacity: 360 Cars
Operator: Roy Dennison
This drive-in was built and designed by South Australian drive-in pioneer Roy Dennison and it was still operated by him until 1999! Roy also operated the drive-in at Murray Bridge and the cinema at nearby Victa Harbour.
The ticket box is just down this driveway almost under the screen. The South Coast area is a popular summer resort location with nearby surf beaches and historic Victor Harbour.
The South Coast drive-in is of an unusual and clever layout. Whilst the screen, ticket box and ramps configuration is conventional, the snack bar is located to one side of the field, in fact it is situated virtually on the busy Elliot road that is the main route from Victa Harbour to Port Elliot. It was designed this way to not only serve food to passing motorists during the day, but also sell petrol! Although the pumps were removed long ago, the former driveway area is now the main information bay for the town of Port Elliot.
The sign says it all the site has been demolished and awaits development
Roy Dennison in addition to designing, building and operating drive-ins, also designed and manufactured drive-in speakers. His designs were later sold through Greater Union Theatre Supplies/GUVT as the RD1 and RD11 drive-in speaker. Village and Greater Union still utilise these speakers today at their drive-ins.
The projection box in the centre of the field. Often located in front of the snack bar this one is situated by itself with the snack bar located a few hundred feet to the right.
The drive-in is equipped with Cine-Fi AM sound in addition to speakers. The projectors are the South Australian manufactured Benbow machines, light is by xenon arc.
The RD11 speaker on sale in 1979. A light, compact design it is still found in use today around Australia. Buddy & Matthew Kilderry photos May 2000.
Port Elliot South Coast drive-in is now no more and the locals and tourists to Port Elliot are much the poorer for it. Thanks to Colin Flint for information supplied here.