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Despite the website being down this drive in is still operation. I don’t know how they plan to handle the digital conversion but they are planning to continue operating as far as I can tell.
I know what some of you guys have all said, but I have just recieved word from one of the employees of the Valley “6” drive in that they have been told that they are now closed for good… That’s not to say that they won’t change there mind between now and spring, but the word is as of now closed for good. In the mean time we can try to save it by going to facebook, and looking up save our auburn valley drive in.
I think we’re in trouble. As of today, the information phone line for the Valley 6 simply says. “unfortunately we are now closed”. It doesn’t sound good, anybody know anything about this are they finally gone?
@ Andrea, I know SRO got an offer they couldn’t refuse. I know SRO wanted out for many years, but couldn’t because it was special to John Danz, the company founder. That’s why it lasted so many years more than their other theatres. It’s just that if it hadn’t been suddenly developed it might still be around. I’m sure if it wasn’t Swedish it would have been someone else. Or would it have been… If SRO had sold the property like a normal sale, where people outside the company know it is being sold, who knows what might have happened. Maybe someone else would be running the theatre, maybe not, maybe I’m dreaming. What really gets me going is SRO had said in the years just prior to the closure that the theatre was making more money every year, and doing very well. Also that it was likely to stay around. It’s just sad to some of us, in reality it is SROs fault not Swedishes.
Theatre opened in 1967 and was built by Mullendore Theaters. SRO took the theatre over in 1977 and closed it in 1986
@ Andrea, but did they have to build it there??? The empty lot directly behind the Puget Park, nearly as big wouldn’t have worked??? We can all appreciate that the area needed an emergency room, don’t get me wrong. What we don’t get is why did it have to involve tearing down a bit of history. That was not only the largest outdoor screen in Washington, but the last drive in on I-5, the last operating SRO theatre anywhere. Not to mention all the memories there. It’s sad and it still hurts some of us that it was taken away.
It is my understanding that the Valley will not be going digital, they will simply close when 35mm is gone. The Rodeo in Port Orchard, has said they WILL be converting this winter. The skyline and Blue Fox are attempting to raise funds to be able to afford them.
I was just able to visit this Drive-In yesterday. The screen, the lot and the outer fence is all still there. The snack bar / projection building looks to have collapsed. Photos from my 7-21-2012 visit can be seen here. One here http://westernwadriveintheatres.weebly.com/ more here http://westernwadriveintheatres.weebly.com/park-in.html
This website is new and still in development so if you navigate around it and find some blanks please excuse me.
The duwamish drive in was one of the first of the United Theatre drive in chains. It was also the first drive in that United closed. It was closed because it was on leased land, and the land owners wanted to sell it for more than the theater chain thought it was worth. However some of the speaker poles survive today, as they were moved to the Valley drive in and converted to antenna clips for the Cine-fi system, when the Valley 3 became the Valley 6. I the Duwamish drive in closed in 1978 or 79.
I know about the Skyline, and would like to make it there sometime, but for me the nearest Drive in is Valley, and it is 2 hours from home. So once it is gone my ability to go to the drive in will be severely reduced.
Update, despite what I have been told these news articles say that development may come sooner than later.
News from the Valley Drive-in, the theater will be closing for the season late in September depending on the weather. They are already planing the 2012 season, so the theater will be operating next year for sure. It is unknown if theaters 5 & 6 will be opening 2012, at this time but, 1, 2 ,3 will be for sure. I have been told that there is no budget for repairs so there will be no improvements over the winter, but it is good to know they will be operating next year.
I went down and saw Thor on screen one a couple of weeks ago and the sound was fine for us but I have had the same crackling, echoing thing happen sometimes. You have to keep in mind it is AM and more prone to interference than FM. The Cine-Fi AM sound system they use was top of the line in 1980 and is now 30 years old. You also have to keep in mind the drive-in has been slated to close any time since the 1990’s as such there on a very limited budget. Last year Valley operated screens 1-3 only, opting to lease out 5 and 6 as vehicle storage. However this year screen 5 and 6 will reopen on Memorial weekend. Screen 4 is still permanently closed. It has been confirmed that Valley will likely stay open for another 4 to 5 seasons. We do not go to indoor theaters(we donâ€™t like them), we drive 30 miles one way to Valley, and it is now the last operating drive-in in the Puget sound area, this place needs to be saved. We can only hope that Pacific Theatres realizes the importance of Valley 6 to the area, and keeps it around long term, and catches the place up on maintenance, and upgrades that have been missed.
I stopped by Puget park today hoping to snap a few pictures before demolition…. Well it’s to late, there is now nothing left except some of the exterior fence and part of the ticket booth. A very sad end to a once great Drive-in, and it is also sad that SRO is now compleatly out of the theater business.
Went down to Valley 6 this last weekend to see Iron Man 2 and Dragon. The city of Auburn has put up a temporary flood dam that runs behind screen 3 and cuts though the middle of screen 4 (the one that was closed years ago due to storm damage). From talking to a security guard it looks like, Pacific Theatres would still like to develop the property sometime, but the temporary dam will be up for at least five years and they wonâ€™t develop it with a dam though the middle of the property. Interestingly enough they seem to be selling off the 3 acre open field in front of the drive-in. So maybe if itâ€™s going to be around for at least five more years they will put a little into fixing the place up. We can hope since itâ€™s the last Drive-in left in the Puget sound area that itâ€™ll stay around.
Well, I went down to Valley 6 this past Sunday actually May 10th and saw Wolverine and Taken, played on screen one. Man just ten or so years ago that place was fairly nice, I’m always disappointed how deteriorated the place is. I know that the won’t put any real money into the place but cleaning all the years of green mold off the screens and fixing that nasty hiss in the AM sound system would make the movies a little more watchable. I know that screen 4 will most likely never get repaired, heck theres almost nothing left of it now. But I don’t understand why they can’t do a few little things or there going to loose the few people that still go there, or maybe thats what they want, a final excuse to close.
If you go to valley 6 drive-in you will find that the sign out front says Valley 6 Drive-in. Maybe Pacific Theaters should rename the drive-in to just Valley but it is Valley 6 Drive-in theater. And yes thier website and local newspaper ad only list movies for 5 screen but the theater does in fact have 6 screens though one of them is not currently in use… or useable. Just because thier not using one screen does not mean that it does not exist.
Screen number 5 was badly damaged a few years ago in a wind storm. It was the first screen and the smallest screen at valley 6. As I understand it from talking to people who work there they will most likely never fix it. The owners of the property would like to develope the land in the very near future. The company running the drive-in (pacific theaters or united drive-ins depending on who you ask) won’t put a dime into the place unless they know it will be staying around. It’s actually in horible shape I’m suprized the health department has not shut down the snack bar. Some of the 5 remaining screens are so dirty and in such bad shape it can be hard to see the movies. The AM sound is so scratchy the old speakers sounded better. The gravel lot is so worn that walking after a rain can be unpleasant. They do have security officers walking around however.
I was at Puget Park two weekends ago, I try to get out to Puget Park a couple times a year but Valley 6 is closer. All I can say is that place has done a 180 degree turn around since I first went there in the late 90s, back then the bathrooms barely worked, often toilets were over flowing, the screen was in horrible shape, bad enough to seriously detract from the movie and the snack bar was just as bad. The patrons would often flash their lights and blow their horn during the movie, it also was not uncommon to see very drunk people and very rowdy crowds. It was bad enough that I stopped going to that drive-in the last movie I saw there was in â€™99. But then in 2004 or 2005 I think it was they had a pair of movies that I just had to see. And too my surprise when I first pulled in I noticed that the lot was repaved, the screen redone, the snack bar painted and a sheriff patrolling the place. Inside the snack bar had been fixed up, the food was better than most theaters and the restrooms remodeled!!! The crowds are no longer scary and the movies are a pleasure to watch. Also the sound is now broadcast on a static free FM station. WOW what a turn around. SRO has turned this drive-in 180 degrees into one of the nicest Iâ€™ve ever been in. I hope that it is like this for many, many more years. Buy the way the night I was there they had a line way out on to the main road, I got one of the last spots and that was nearly an hour before show time!! And it was on a Sunday.