One of KCK’s best experiences: Movies at the Boulevard Drive-in

The Boulevard Drive-in’s proprietor, Wes Neal, once had a dream of a gyro-monorail, and calls the drive-in its “birthplace.”

by William Crum

Remember the days when things were simple, sock hops, poodle skirts, hot rides and, of course, rock-and-roll music?

The Boulevard Drive-in, Kansas City, Kan., has got to be one of the best-kept secrets in Wyandotte County. It is a place where you can take your family, relax, and watch a movie. There is a playground for the kids and a concession bar that has the best food I’ve ever tried.

However, there is more to the Boulevard Drive-in than one would think. Wes Neal, the proprietor of the Boulevard Drive-in, said the drive-in was the birthplace of one of the first monorails developed. It used a Chevrolet 350 engine and a gyroscope.

An inventor, Lou Swinney, came to Neal with the idea to build a monorail using a gyroscope in 1962. It had never been done before, Neal said. He decided to invest in it.

“My granddad likes inventions,” said Brian Neal, Wes’s grandson. For many years, a remembrance of the monorail was at the front of the drive-in near the gate. Swinney, the inventor of the monorail, died five years ago.

When you meet Wes Neal you will see for yourself a true visionary. In fact, his grandson Brian is a lot like his grandfather in a lot of ways and is currently being shown the ropes of the drive-in itself.

The Boulevard Drive-in today has some the most highly technological advanced projection and sound equipment ever made. This is mainly due to Brian Neal.

The food at the Boulevard Drive-in is some of the best food ever. I love a good hotdog and believe it or not they’ve got the best I’ve ever had not to mention the popcorn and everything else on the menu. This is mainly due to Brian’s wife Clarissa. A lot of people come here for the food, Brad said.

Boulevard Drive-in has got to be one of the best kept secrets in Wyandotte County.
For more information go to the website www.boulevarddrivein.com. The drive-in is located at 1051 Merriam Lane in Kansas City, Kan., or call them at 913-262-2414.

Visitors to the snack bar at the Boulevard Drive-in on Merriam Lane pick up some snacks. (Photo by William Crum)

The Boulevard Drive-in opened in 1950 in Kansas City, Kan., and is one of a dwindling number of drive-ins still open in the United States. (Photo by William Crum)

Preparing the popcorn for the Boulevard Drive-in theater in Kansas City, Kan. (Photo by William Crum)

Memories of the past 64 years are posted at the Boulevard Drive-in in Kansas City, Kan. (Photo by Wiilliam Crum)

Freeman graduates from basic training

Air Force Reserve Airman 1st Class Eboni W. Freeman graduated from basic military training at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, San Antonio, Texas.
The airman completed an intensive, eight-week program that included training in military discipline and studies, Air Force core values, physical fitness, and basic warfare principles and skills.
Airmen who complete basic training earn four credits toward an associate in applied science degree through the Community College of the Air Force.
Freeman is the daughter of Lateshia Smith of Kansas City, Mo.
She is a 2011 graduate of Wyandotte High School, Kansas City, Kan.

Two Wyandotte County students on honor list at Rolla

Two Wyandotte County students at Missouri University of Science and Technology have made the honor list for the 2014 spring semester.

They are Hannah Katherine Jokisch of Bonner Springs, Kan., a senior in chemical engineering; and Ezekiel Ian Lyle Reynolds of Kansas City, Kan., a senior in mining engineering.

Those on the list carried a minimum of 12 hours and had grade point averages of 3.2 or above out of a possible 4.0. The university is in Rolla, Mo.