Broadmeadows Skyline (Hoyts)

Opened: 1958
Location: Sydney Road/Hume Hwy, Broadmeadows
Capacity: 690
Screens: One
Operator: Hoyts Theatres Ltd
Closed: 1972

Broadmeadows was the forth Skyline drive-in to be built in Melbourne. At one time it was considered that four drive-ins would be enough to satisfy the drive-in theatregoers of the city – how wrong they were. Broadmeadows never reaped the box-office returns that Burwood and Oakleigh attained, in fact even the steady business that Preston garnered eluded Broady for most of its life. Broady had all the elements of the other successful locations but was soon swamped by competition.

Snack bar at Broadmeadows.

Essendon, Maribyrnong, Preston, Reservoir and Northland all took potential cars away from Broadmeadows. When Coburg was opened in 1965, it was the nail in the coffin. Hoyts had long aspired to owning the Sunset at Maribyrnong which was owned by Sillman and Sharp along with Coburg. The deal to acquire the Sunset included Coburg. Hoyts decided to not have two competing locations so close to one another and in 1972 Broadmeadows had the dishonor of being the first Melbourne drive-in to close.

Aerial view of Broadmeadows Drive-in shortly after opening.

Broadmeadows had a go-cart track next to the entrance drive, a jukebox in the snack bar and all the usual Skyline entertainments of the day. These were all used to capacity on shows like “A Hard Days Night” as Beatlemania hit the drive-in. Ranch nights were also popular at Broady. In later years the site became a caravan sales yard. The main sign stood until the late 1980’s when the complete site was redeveloped a factory estate.