The Boulevard was built in a field near the northern banks of Turkey Creek at 1051 Merriam Lane in the Rosedale district of Kanas City, Kansas. It opened in 1950 and has been showing movies for 64 continuous years. No other Kansas City movie venue, indoor or outdoor, has been operating that long.
During a time when probably 95% of the nation's drive-ins closed permanently, the Boulevard just kept on going, season after season. Among the many factors that helped keep the Boulevard afloat, probably three were most important: (1) a young family man by the name of Wes Neal came to work at the Boulevard in 1954 and never left, now 60 years later; (2) Turkey Creek got to where it flooded the drive-in every year or two, and an alternative land use was never considered; and (3) a year-round weekend swap meet was started up that provided additional revenue for the drive-in during the lean movie viewing years.
BOULEVARD ALMOST CLOSES ITS DOORS--It was during the 1970s that the drive-in's original investors lost the vision that the drive-in could ever be profitable again. But their loyal and efficient manager, Wes Neal, thought he could turn a little profit; he convinced the owners to lease it to him and his wife, Mazie, to create a family-run theatre.
With the two of them plus other family members and a few loyal employees, the Boulevard stayed open year after year. Then in 1975, Wes and his family started the Boulevard's “Swap-n-Shop” that operated year round every weekend mo
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