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I believe those Robstown drive-ins are as follows:
Ruben Chavez Dr at John Wayne Dr – ‘The Airport Drive-in’ opened in Fall 1955 by Ray and Gilbert Garza (aka Garza Brothers). It started as a Spanish language drive-in.
Western Ave at W Ave D – ‘The San Pedro Drive-in’ opened in late 1953 or early 1954 by Arnulfo Gonzales and Tito Sandoval, managed by Tito Sandoval. It started with a two language double feature policy.
Hwy 44 – ‘The Starlite Drive-in’ and later as ‘The Robstown Drive-in’ when Hurricane Celia blew it down. It was operated by Robb-Rowley, Rowley United and finally United Artists.
I have that photo of The Robstown blown down by Hurricane Celia on Aug 3, 1970. I understand it never came back after that.
Hurricane Celia also put an end to The Surf Drive-in in Corpus Christi where employees soon put “Gone With The Wind” on the marquee. Celia also finished off what was left of ‘The Lexington’ aka ‘Capri at 62nd & Lexington’ aka ‘62nd & Lexington’ aka ‘Belaire’; as it disintegrated large pieces of it came flying towards our house which was just 2 blocks away. Very brief glimpses of those two drive-ins can be seen in our home movies of the aftermath of Celia which are on Youtube View link
The Surf is at 1:44 and The Lexington is at 4:20. I inlcuded many of the published still photos, but I inadvertantly left out the Robstown drive-in. I should go back and add it to the movie.
The Rancho celebrated it’s grand opening Thursday June 24, 1954. Opened by Joseph and Kyle, it was the last of four drive-ins to open in Kingsville. Well known for showing Spanish language movies, it started out with “Double Features Nightly – Spanish and English Film”….. “English pictures start at 9:30PM”. The first features were “Por Ellas Aunque Mal Pagen” and “Al Jennings of Oklahoma”.
The King’s Drive-in celebrated it’s grand opening on Thursday June 23, 1949 with it’s first feature “June Bride” starring Bette Davis. Joseph and Kyle ran a “name the drive-in” contest in The Kingsville Record on April 27, 1949. The winning suggestion received a one year pass, the next top ten suggestions received one month passes.
This was the second of four drive-ins in Kingsville.
I took photos of the rotting concession stand / projection booth on October 9, 2010. The much circulated postcard photo of the drive-in and Sage Motel at the entrance to Kingsville is in fact The King’s drive-in, not The Hiway drive-in as often misrepresented.
Some websites confuse the King’s Drive-in postcard photo as The Hiway Drive-in.
The Hi-Way or Hiway (both spellings used in ads) just north of town was opened by Joseph and Kyle on Saturday August 14, 1948 with it’s first feature being “Red Stallion” with Robert Paige. They stopped operations on March 31, 1952 when they were about to open The Brahma just south of town on May 2, 1952. The last features were “Tarnished” and “Prisoners in Pettcoats”. It may have continued operations later under L.E. Harvey, but after interviewing many long-time Kingsville residents, almost nobody remembers this first of four drive-ins. Everyone remembers the King’s, The Brahma and El Rancho, and they are quite surprised to be told of The Hiway.
The ‘Brahma’ celebrated it’s grand opening on Friday May 2, 1952 with it’s first feature “To Please a Lady” starring Clark Gable. The ‘Hiway’ just north of town advertised until March 26, 1952, when they announced “The Hiway Will Close After March 31. Watch for the Grand Opening of the BRAHMA DRIVE-IN about April 15th.” It was the third of four drive-ins in Kingsville opened by Joseph and Kyle.
I have recently researched drive-ins in Corpus Christi, Kingsville, Robstown and Alice (among other surrounding cities), and I have a lot of hard information to share. I don’t exactly know yet how I am going to share or disseminate these newspaper articles and ads, but I can surely answer questions in the meantime. I have info about locations and grand openings and some closings.