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The map currently showing on this page is way off. The Park Plaza was out on 183 near Esters Road, not near MacArthur Blvd.
I worked in the concession stand, boxoffice, and, as the article quoted above describes, playground attendant here in ‘65. First thing playing here when I started was HOW TO MURDER YOUR WIFE. As playground attendant, I got to see all the movie, some twice a night. I most remember CHEYENNE AUTUMN and lines of cars stretched for miles to get in for SHENANDOAH. One night, the oil refinery (or whatever it was) next door blew up during SHENANDOAH and hundreds of cars crowded and honked trying to get out of the drive in. A couple years later, a schoolmate of mine was killed in a car accident on 183, the car crashing through the front wall of the drive in and coming to rest in front of the screen during the movie. I wasn’t working there at the time, but my sister was on a date there and witnessed it. It was a fun place to work, great fun. Whenever I visit Irving now, I try to figure out where it was, but the landscape is so different now, it’s hard to recognize.
My first job of any kind was in the concession stand at the 183. They were showing THE TRAIN. Worked there for a while before transferring to the Park Plaza Drive-In further west. After work at the 183 some nights, my friends and I would come back and break into the concession stand and sit around eating stale popcorn at one in the morning. Master criminals.
I remember seeing EVERY LITTLE CROOK AND NANNY here, and surely a few other things while attending what was then Central State University in Edmond.
I got my start as a projectionist at the NW Hiway Drive-In. First day on the job, I dropped the first reel of KLUTE on my foot and broke two toes. When I got back to work, we were showing THE CROSS AND THE SWITCHBLADE. I remember one of the projectors burning out during LITTLE BIG MAN and I had to stop the film for about five minutes between each reel to let the one remaining projector cool down and reload it with the next reel. Good times. Now I act in movies. Almost as much fun!