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Thread: Anyone remember a kit called the "Starlite Drive in"

  1. Default Anyone remember a kit called the "Starlite Drive in"

    About 10 years ago. Miller Engineering, the company that makes those neat, electronic, animated signs and billboards, made a kit called the "Starlite Drive-In". It was a fully working drive-in movie theater kit. I only seen it once in person as a diorama that was on display at the NMRA convention show in St. Paul, MN. back in 1999.

    I know it came with a structure kit for the snack bar and a neon light on top of the building. A marquee out near the street with chasing lights. Plus a real working LCD screen for the main screen itself. You hooked up a VCR or DVD player or even a TV to give the theater life. I think it also had a template for the parking lot also. I havent seen one since then, nor have I even seen one show up on Ebay. But then again, I havent gone searching very often for it to show up in an auction. Maybe I may check every few months or so.

    My thought is it may have not sold all that well due to the price. 699.00 dollars to be exact.

    But ill tell you what. IMO, there are 2 model railroad kits that have entered our hobby that were just an awsome sight to see in person. This Starlite Drive-In kit, and the motorized Walthers Bascule Bridge. I know there are many others out there that may rank high but those are the 2 that popped in my head right away and are just personal highlights of some of the neat stuff in this hobby.

    Given the high price tag of those drive in kits. If I came across one today, I would strongly consider grabbing one even though I dont have 700 bucks laying around. I have just always wanted that kit ever since I seen it at that NMRA show. I googled it to see what I could come up with and all I could really find was the original Model Railroader review from 2003.

    http://www.trains.com/mrr/default.aspx?c=a&id=709
    Chris

  2. #2

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    I remember seeing the ads and reading MR's blurb about it, but I haven't seen one up close.

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    A friend of mine built his own Drive-In theatre about 5 years ago using one of the 4" TV's he bought from WM. He used a drivein kit from Faller & even did the uneven ground w/foam boards cut to look like the humps. I think the kit came w/about 20 speaker stands. He used a VCR to run movies on his screen.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zTkyR5kFJwI

    (This is the only Video left of my Train layout before I took it apart in 2012)

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    I was thinking a guy could probably take a headrest monitor/screen like you see in these custom interiors that guys are building. They come in all sorts of different sizes and thicknesses so I could totally see it working. The marquee is another part of that kit that makes it so neat, the lights chase just like many other fancy neon signs they make. If Miller still made at least a marquee sign by itself, you could duplicate the rest of the theater for a fairly reasonable price.
    Chris

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    we have that kit on the club layout. We play movies twice every week for open house.

    If I recall the kit has the screen, entrance office, speaker stands and possibly a consession stand? We play the videos on a VCR thats stored under the layout, Sound is from a real old drive in speaker that is next to the layout. I may have some pics of it at home?
    Trent Blasco


    Ask me about seeing two of Chicagolands largest Railroad clubs

    Elmhurst model railroad club http://www.emrrc.org/

    Lake county model railroad club http://www.lcmrr.org/index.htm

  6. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by lmackattack View Post
    we have that kit on the club layout. We play movies twice every week for open house.

    If I recall the kit has the screen, entrance office, speaker stands and possibly a consession stand? We play the videos on a VCR thats stored under the layout, Sound is from a real old drive in speaker that is next to the layout. I may have some pics of it at home?
    Pics would be nice. Do you have any pics of just the screen too? Like the back of it as well?
    Chris

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    Blair Line has a really nice drive-in theater kit that's meant as an against the wall flat but could easily be converted into a reverse screen drive-in (http://www.blairline.com/di/). I just saw an ad from Costco with a 7" HD LCD TV for $99 that would fit perfectly in the space of the Blair line screen. All you'd have to do is model the gravel parking area and the humps. You could either do it as a modern drive-in, which transmited the sound by FM radio, or and older version, with the speakers. Life-Like makes a cheap set of parking meters which don't look like parking meters at all but, with a little kitbashing, they'd make perfect stands with speakers. I'd love to put in a drive-in if I had any space on my dinky layout.
    Regards, Jim
    _______________
    HO Scale Modeler

  8. #8

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    I think I remember reading on a forum about somebody using a laptop to show movies on for a Drive-In on the layout. I forget if it was his own layout or a club layout though. Either way I think it might be pretty interesting to do.

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