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Corrected address for this theater is 116 E. Third St, Wapato, Wa. 98951. Google street view should then be correct.
The driveway is still there as of 2013, but way overgrown with weeds.
Roughly a third of the asbestos tiles had blown off the screen over the years from the windstorms.
Around 1995, James Jack started painting the outside of the building in yellow color to doll up the place and hide the graffiti. You can see some of the yellow painted portions of the building in some of the pictures. The paint that was on the building in the late 70’s and in the 1980’s was a light green.
That’s quite a few asbestos tiles missing.
We had purchased several dozen brand new Glo-Tops from Speco back in 1999 to replace a bunch of damaged, faded, and missing ones. Our lighting circuit to the Glo-Tops ran 24 to 28 volt # 313 miniature lamps.
This automation unit was so screwed up that I ran it on manual override all the time.
That’s an Eprad speaker on the left and a Speco one on the right. The junction box is an Eprad “Glo-Top” lighted unit.
In 1993 it was already closed, but a man by the name of James Jack was starting to clean things up and had plans to reopen it. Unfortunately, I heard that he had suddenly passed away and the theater would never reopen. There were a couple of brothers who had opened the theater in 1984 and 1985 seasons, but they didn’t know how to operate a drive-in theater and it closed. One of their biggest problems was sound system failures. They had no radio sound at all and were running the sound through the traditional in-car window speakers on both screens. Instead of simply repairing the existing RCA drive-in theater tube amplifier (which was designed for this theater anyway), they bought like five or six Bogen transistorized amplifiers and used those to feed sound to the speakers. That turned out to be a big mistake because the line transients in the field wiring played havoc with the output transistors in the Bogen amplifiers. Seems like every couple of weeks several of the amplifiers were in the repair shop with blown output transistors. So the sound was pretty bad which drove away customers. If this theater would have been twinned properly (not hacked like it was) and that second screen had radio sound, this theater might still have been open in my opinion.
The only remnants of the theater today is the asphalt driveway entrance and many of the original trees are still standing. The property is now owned by the Western Washington Fairgrounds and is used for storage. The front entryway of the theater now has a barbed wire fence stretched across it. The entire theater marquee and readerboard have been completely removed.
I have plenty of pictures of this theater in my collection. All my pictures were taken after the theater closed and had been through a couple of major floods.
Damage to the video projector, telephones, and internet have all been repaired.
This is what happens when you forget to hang the speaker back on the post before driving away.
The other side of the sign says “Next Left” in place of the word Theater.
That picture appears to be from the Skyline Drive-in Theater in Shelton, Washington.
Yup, congratulations are in order. They won a video projector from Honda’s contest. :)
They should have just bought a DVD player and cheapo Best Buy video projector.
Telephone lines at the theater are also damaged from the lightning strike. Phone lines are down right now.
Evidently the electrical storm did damage the new video projector and all shows are cancelled until further notice.
Lightning struck the power pole feeding the theater today 9-6-2013 knocking out power to the theater and cancelling all shows.
What a beautiful theater!
I’d want to see films in their original Cinerama projection process on film not digital video projection.
Yes, it apparently was just a few days from reopening.
The theater was destroyed by an August 14, 2013 fire. :(
Too bad, not using speakers any more.