Starlight Drive-In in Aspley: A Cinematic Icon Fades to Black, Now Replaced by Housing

Starlight Drive-In

Aspley residents may remember a time when the hum of engines and the crackling of speakers filled the night air on Albany Creek Road. That era belonged to the Starlight Drive-In Theatre, a beloved entertainment hub that merged cinema and community across the suburb’s nightscape for over four decades.

Photo Credit: Chermside District

Opened in 1957 by the Sourris Brothers in Aspley, the Starlight Drive-In originally accommodated 359 cars, offering moviegoers a unique under-the-stars cinematic experience. Under the subsequent ownership of Birch Carroll & Coyle, a prominent Australian cinema chain, the drive-in flourished, adding a second screen in 1969 to become the Starlight Twin Drive-In and expanding its capacity to 650 cars by 1981.

Starligh Drive-In
Photo Credit: Chermside District

For years, the Starlight Twin Drive-In served as a social gathering spot, a family outing destination, and a cherished part of Aspley’s cultural landscape. It was known for its double features, playground for children, and a popular snack bar that offered classic drive-in fare.

However, the curtain fell abruptly on the Starlight Twin Drive-In in 2001 under circumstances that remain unclear. While reasons such as declining attendance due to the rise of multiplex cinemas and video rentals were speculated, the sudden closure sparked public outcry and even made headlines, highlighting the community’s attachment to this iconic landmark.

Photo Credit: Cinema Treasures

Today, the site of the former drive-in is home to residential housing. While the drive-in’s physical presence is gone, its memory lives on in the hearts of those who experienced the magic of outdoor cinema under the Aspley night sky, and it remains a nostalgic symbol of a bygone era in Brisbane’s entertainment history.

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Photo Credit: Cinema Treasures

The Starlight Drive-In may have vanished from the physical landscape of Aspley, but its legacy as a community landmark and cultural icon will not be forgotten. As new residents make their homes on the former drive-in site, they become part of a story that intertwines cinema, community, and the ever-evolving nature of urban development.

Published Date 22-May-2024