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Very brief clip from vintage 8mm home movie my dad shot back in 1955. He was manager of this theater and we lived next to the screen in a mobile home. Halfway through the pan, you can almost discern the miniature race cars that were pulled behind a tractor to entertain the kiddies before the first feature.
Sorry ‘bout the late response, I don’t visit this site that often….but to answer Drive-In 1954, many of the photos we had from that era were lost in a fire. In addition, My mom and dad are both deceased, so that’s not a source.
I’m not related. If you’ll read my post on The Viking Twin, also in Corpus, you’ll note that my late father was later hired to run the Viking for Johnny, as soon as it opened. In fact, my granddad was part of the construction crew.
I did have a crush on Mr. Blocker’s daughter. But we were only eight years old.
My dad managed the Viking Twin. Before that, the Surf and Twin Palms for John Blocker back in ‘55. When Mr. Blocker built the Viking, he offered dad a new gig—manager for this wonderful theater. Dad was big on Ballyhoo and would often stage “Drive In Theater Premieres”. He once brought Diane Ladd to the Viking for the opening of a Roger Corman biker film.
I was 8 years old when I got my first very innocent kiss, on the playground of the Viking. It was bestowed on me by the owner’s daughter, Vicki Blocker.
Amazing image. As I mention on the page for the Surf Drive-In Theater, my dad managed this theater and the Surf in 1955. As I recall, he would show a double-feature of Spanish language films on Wednesday nights. Though I was only 9 and unable to speak Spanish, I thoroughly enjoyed watching the movies, especially those starring Cantinflas.
When the Viking Twin was built, my dad was the new theater’s first manager.
So glad I found this site. The Surf was our temporary home back in 1955 when my dad took over management of this theater and the Twin Palms (on Hwy 9, I think). I couldn’t remember the exact address. Our living quarters were in the huge base of the screen, with rooms constructed end to end. As I recall, it was quite spacious. I have fond memories of that place. The projectionist was a wonderful old gentleman who’d let me help him change reels. I’d watch for the “cigarette burn” in the upper right-hand corner, then throw the switch on the rear of the projector which ignited the carbon rods used for light.
Years ago, during a visit to Corpus, I drove along Ayers and could only get a general idea of the exact location. All I could remember was a huge water tower nearby. Thanks to Cinema Treasures, I got address, went to Google maps and selected street view. The 8mm footage that my dad shot reveals a water tower in the background and that landmark is still there.
I posted a frame grab from that footage in the photo tabbed section.
‘Scuse me while a huge wave of nostalgia washes over me.