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While in business, the Rocket Drive-In wasn’t near a running track. That happened when a new school was built and when The Rocket was closing. When The Bell was open, it was next to a horse track though. The La Plata County Fairgrounds. And the building seen in the photo, is also a new high school which opened in 1977.
Joe Vogel, the then new street entrance, was the Kiva Theatre’s old exit.
Milford Shields moved to Durango in 1928 to run the theater. He had previous experience as a projectionist. The photo says it was a Fox theater through the 1940s. It was in the 1950s that it became a Mann theater.
The Kiva Theatre means more to me than the average movie house. A person who worked there (he was responsible for the ceremonious “tearing of the ticket in half” job), found a certain customer VERY attractive. He got up the nerve to ask her out on a date. She accepted. She is my mom, and he is my dad.
I’ve been told stories about the Bell Drive-In. People snacked from nearby apple trees and alcoholic drinks were served. Hot toddies were popular. I’m sad I missed it. 🍹🍸
Joe Vogel, The entrance was on Main Ave, but a 1982 fire swept through most of the city block. While it didn’t burn to the ground, it was possible to still use the theatre but a new entrance had to be built on 8th Street.