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The rise and fall of drive-in movie theaters in Minnesota

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Checking makeup
Dressed as Marilyn Monroe, Jennie Gorbunow, of Cottage Grove, Minn., checks her makeup at Cottage View Drive-In in Cottage Grove, Minn. Thursday, Sept. 27, 2012. Gorbunow competed in the costume contest held during a farewell event at the theater.
MPR Photo/Jeffrey Thompson

Thinking about what to do this weekend? What about catching the final two nights of movies at the Cottage View Drive-In theater in the Twin Cities suburb of Cottage Grove?

• Photos: Good night from Cottage Grove

The outdoor theater is closing after this weekend.  It will be torn down and replaced by a Wal-Mart. When the Cottage View closes, there will only be one drive-in movie theater left in the Twin Cities.

Back in the 1970s there were 18 drive-ins in the metro area. Many drive-in owners entered into the business for the real estate investment opportunities. As land value increased, more drive-ins disappeared to make way for new developments. 

MPR's Cathy Wurzer invited Dave Kenney to her studio to discuss the rise and fall of the drive-in theater. Dave Kenney is the author of the book "Twin Cities Picture Show" which chronicles the history of cinema in the Twin Cities.