Opened as the Mansfield-Galion Drive-In on June 19, 1947, screening the 1945 western/romance “Frontier Gal” with Yvonne De Carlo, Rod Cameron and Andy Devine. It was opened/operated by Harold & Ruben Nussbaum. The drive-in had a parking capacity for 500 cars featuring beside the car speakers. Co-Operative Theatres from Cleveland, OH was the buying and booking agency.
The theatre was renamed Sunset Drive-In on April 17, 1953, when it opened for that season. Nelda Spore who was 12 years old in 1960 started selling candy at the concession stand at the Sunset Drive-In, following her mother Dorothy Dent who worked there also. Nelda learned every job, met and married Richard Spore who also worked there. She left to teach, then returned 28 years later and has managed the drive-in ever since, along with her husband Richard. Richard died in 2013 after a long battle with cancer. After the passing of her husband, Nelda retired. Jay Phillips aka Jay Nussbaum is the last surviving brother who owns the Sunset Drive-In, and now he lives in California. He does not want to invest in digital projection equipment and make improvements to the Sunset Drive-In.
The future looks dim for the reopening of the Sunset Drive-In anytime soon. The sun is setting on the Sunset Drive-In and in February 2015 it is “For Sale'.
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