A Wal-Mart Might Replace 46-Year-Old Drive-In Theatre

COTTAGE VIEW (WCCO) — One of the few remaining drive-in theaters in the Twin Cities might go dark.

The Cottage View has been a landmark for decades in Cottage Grove, but now a Super Wal-Mart could go up in its place.

“I just don’t like the fact that they are going to get rid of the drive-in,” said resident Doug Holtzkamp.

There’s no shortage of opinion when it comes to whether the drive in should stay or go. There’s even a Facebook page, called “Save the Cottage View Drive-In.”

“I think it’s a bad idea,” said Holtzkamp. “I like the drive-in and having access, so your family can go there on the weekend and spend some time with your family. We already got a Wal-Mart in Woodbury.”

The theater has been showing movies since 1966. Owner Gerry Herringer said “he’s also sad to see it go,” but that it’s just a sign of the times.

“Wal-Mart coming is fine, in my opinion” said resident Brian Schmidt.

Back in the 1960s, there were about 21 drive-in theaters in the metro. Today, there are only two: Cottage View and Vali-Hi, in Lake Elmo. Soon, there could be only one.

The theater is on about 51 acres. The proposed Wal-Mart would take up about half of that.

“A box or a retail center of some sort is an appropriate use under the guiding that currently exists,” said City Administrator Ryan Schroeder.

However, the city would have to change the zone.

“It’s currently a residential zone, but as you know, it has a commercial use on the property now,” said Schroerder.

Even if the Wal-Mart isn’t built, the theater’s future looks bleak. Most theaters are going digital.
That would be a $70,000 upgrade for Cottage View, which is a cost its owner said he can’t afford.

The theater will continue to show movies this year. But if the Wal-Mart store gets the thumbs up, construction could begin this fall.

i>Sonya Goins, Producer
Contact Sonya

  • Capt. Obv.

    Toilet part of Cottage Grove, aka poor mans Woodbury, hopefully it can make it there but based on the influx of section 8 housing moving into the area a Walmart is par for the course.

    • jackactionhero

      You don’t know what you’re talking about. The homes adjacent to this property are all going for about $240,000 apiece.

      • Capt. Obv

        JackactionZero thats great the 1 development behind the drive in has homes for sale in the 240k range, are you implying most parts of C. Grove are not declining rapidly? Also look on the MLS last 3 months sales and let me know how many of those homes are flying off the market, and im sure the Walmart will help LOL.

  • It's all about money

    Just what every neighborhood needs is another Walmart. No one should have to drive more than 5 miles to get to a Walmart. I think, if you dig deep enough, it’s in the US Constitution. If not, there should be an amendment.

  • biglou64

    Walmart bites!

  • America is greedy

    Well the times should slow the heck down. My son is six I took him to many movie stores and drive ins as well.. I wanted him to get that family experience of actually going to a real video store and renting a movie. Now all we have is red box. America only cares about money, what happened to family values? Slow down on the weekends families, come relax and watch a movie outside with your family for a good price.But no now families are working two jobs just to pay the rent/mortgage. Its so sad what this world is coming to. Save The Cottage Grove Drive Inn!!!

    • jackactionhero

      It can’t be saved. The owner isn’t making money, and they need a $70k projector. You should be happy that this man finally can make some money off this property. There is nothing you can do to save it.

  • Bob from S MN

    Wal-fart has runied lots of things period. Look at what has happened in New Ulm for instance. They are chasing K-mart out. If you have ever been in either store in New Ulm neither one has many customers in them besides they have a Target there too.. Leave it to Wal-fart to eat up all the smaller stores and property. GREED=MONEY I guess.

    • jackactionhero

      They didn’t chase K-Mart out. The people buying products preferred getting them at Wal-Mart. That’s how that works, Bob.

  • BOB

    Wal-Mart started out with low prices. After they ran out Pamida Shopco and K-Mart they Jacked there prices threw the roof. Wal-Mart gets not one dime from me.

    • pumphandle

      If you think Walmart is expensive, you must make very little money, their the cheapest place around but also sell the most junk product.

  • Bernie

    Walmart is like a giant wood tick, I like Target better yet Fleet Farm

  • hunnybear18

    Ironically, “We already got a DRIVE IN in the Woodbury area too.”

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