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A USGS aerial taken Jan. 31, 1954 shows the screen up and in the right place but no projection booth or ramps. Maybe it was under construction then?
An aerial photo taken Sept. 20, 1967 shows the mobile home park already fully developed. The Circle Autoscope didn’t last long at all!
That’s what’s left of the Duke City a couple of blocks south of the Circle Autoscope.
The July 11, 1987 Albuquerque Journal had an ad “Always $5 per car load” for the Northside Drive-In at “2nd & Montano”, which is the closest intersection to the former Star. English-language movies this time.
An ad in the July 11, 1981 Albuquerque Journal showed the Sunset under the Commonwealth banner showing a Spanish-language film.
Journal ads for the Sunset in 1987 and 1988, not under Commonwealth, listed English-language movies. I couldn’t find any similar ads in 1989.
Motion Picture Almanac drive-in list summary for the Sunset:
The Albuquerque Journal ran ads for Spanish-language films showing at the Linda Vista Drive-In at the Star’s old address in 1981-1983 (at least).
Someone should mention that the photo is from Kerry Segrave’s fine book Drive-In Theaters, published in 1992. He included the photo in a section noting how few drive-ins were multiplexed in the 1960s and 70s, which seems ironic since Amarillo’s Twin was one of the tiny percentage of 1950s-era drive-ins with two screens.
This is a photo of the single-screen 66 Drive-In on 6th Street, not the Green Meadows / Route 66 twin.
Aerial photos indicate that the Bel-Air wasn’t there in 1946, was active through at least 1952-74, and was gone by 1988. (Although a 1988 topo map still showed its outline, so I guess those aren’t perfect either.)
The original 66 (not Route 66) Drive-In first appeared in the Motion Picture Almanacs in the 1953-54 edition and persisted through the final MPA drive-in list in 1988, always owned by Kerasotes.
It wasn’t present in a 1946 aerial photo of the site, and a 1993 photo showed it in the midst of getting converted to buildings.
The concrete bases of the screen supports appear to still be there in a December 2016 Google Street View.
Also, the Sunset’s outline was still shown on a 2002 topo map.
An even better address is 101 Grande Dr, since the drive-in was at the corner of the Service Road and present-day Grande Drive.
What was that building that jutted into its viewing arc on the northeast side? It looks like a motor court, which would have given a third of its tenants a view of the screen.
I just uploaded an aerial photo from 1995. It’s a little grainy, but you can still see the screen (not an autoscope), projector hut and ramps. As Kenmore noted, the ramps are still faintly visible today.
Since it’s such a great history article, and since newspaper links tend to turn obsolete after a few years, I added the page that David Zornig posted (thanks!) to the Internet Archive.
According to the Answer Man, a May 18, 1969, story in the Springfield Leader and Press said the Holiday “would have two screens, one for 490 cars and the other for 509. That didn’t happen. It ended up with one screen for 529 cars.”
I agree that 737 is a much better choice for marking the entrance. My guess about its historic address: The West occupied everything between 6th and 8th avenues. Since it could choose its address anywhere in-between, it wanted an association with the better-known artery of 6th Avenue rather than 8th, a simple side street.
I was there this morning, and the driveway from the 6th Avenue outer road is as well-preserved as the Kipling driveway, but old aerial photos show that when the West began, its only connections were to Kipling. The outer road driveway was apparently added in the 1980s or 1990s.
The Signal of Santa Clarita reminisced today, noting that Yellow Submarine opened at the Mustang on April 14, 1969. The author pointedly wrote that the drive-in was in the neighborhood known as Honby.
Which sent me to Google Maps, which tells me that Saugus is also a neighborhood, one of four communities that merged in 1987 to create the city of Santa Clarita. At any rate, the Mustang’s address is now clearly within Santa Clarita, so the CT address should be adjusted accordingly and Saugus should be removed from the CA city list.
Clearly, Google Maps hates Texas' system of access roads running on both sides of the interstates there. I’m not sure I’m much of a fan myself.
Kenmore’s suggestion was probably just right 18 months ago, but now Google Maps prefers 5650 Interstate 40 Access Rd, the address of High Plains Tire & Diesel Service. The Skyway was just east of that business, west of the building for I-40 Truck Sales. The ramps were still visible in 2014 but are paved over now.
Historic Aerials shows that the screen was where I-40 is now.
Note that the entrance road was actually on Eucalyptus Ave.
WJAR, Providence, had a flashback segment last October showing that the drive-in suffered an extensive fire on Oct. 8, 1978.
Thanks for the source. My Motion Picture Almanacs whiffed on Warwick. Hmm…
Could it be the Cranston Auto Drive-In, just north of the Warwick city limits? Historic Aerials has a very clear photo from 1955, and so far that’s the only candidate I’ve found.
Hey there, original contributor Ken Roe! Thanks for filling a gap here, though it would also be helpful to cite your source for this new knowledge.
My reference books pull a blank on Warwick RI in the mid 1950s. Of course, the Warwick Drive-In in Warwick NY opened in 1950 and is still active. Could this be the 500-car Loew’s Drive-In listed for adjacent Providence?
Searching The News of Newport RI for those years turned up nothing for me, even though that paper’s Where To Go column listed other RI drive-ins. A Providence paper would have been more helpful, oh well.
Of course, none of this proves a negative. Could you please give us a hint?
The address that jwmovies is close; today Google Maps lists the address of Skyline Vista Park as 2595 W 72nd Ave, Westminster, just across the street from Denver. Historic Aerials photos verify that as the site of the North.
The site has a grocery store there now; jwmovies' address is accurate. But Nokorola has a point that as of this typing, the Cinema Treasures map is wrong. The drive-in was on the west side of the intersection of Pleasant Valley Road and T-579, sometimes known as Kings Highway.
By the way, the drive-in was never actually named Purple Passion. That matchbook was clearly a novelty gag, though possibly based on the Mt. Vernon’s location. Spot checks on ads in The San Bernardino County Sun from 1954, 1955, 1956, 1958 (clipping uploaded), 1959, 1962, and 1970 all call it the Mt. Vernon Motor-In Theatre.