Showing 1 - 25 of 37 comments
With all deference to “Chuck” he is way off on his facts for this drive-in.
First of all, the picture is of the AIRWIEW drive in, and is from the Beryl Ford collection, available through the Tulsa city county library.
Secondly, the 66 drive-in as it was originally called when it opened on Aug 21, 1947. It was built by Griffith theaters, which later became Video theaters. It was rebuilt as the 66 drive-in on march 4, 1964. It was later twinned in march of 1977.
After video theaters was sold to Martin theaters, it finally closed in June of 1983.
Chuck is correct in that it was demolished and a church currently occupies the site which is just West of 169 on the North side of the street.
Wesley HortonAmerican institute of drive-in archaeology.
It did. .. . It opened in 1975.
Chuck, when the Riverside DI was opened in 1948, the entity was then known as “Griffith Theatres.” Griffith Theatres later became “Video Theatres.”
Just wanted to take a moment and correct Okie’s assertion that the Quail Twin was built on the site of the old Twilight gardens. Please take a look at this article:
Which is courtesy of the Daily Oklahoman.
The drive in was located on the North East corner of May and Britton. The Quail Twin was located in the shopping center at the North East corner of May and Hefner. .
From the AIDA database:
Cinema “66” Also known as “NE 66”
Location originally listed as 5801 N. Eastern (Aerial photos from 1970 show the entrance to have been off of Grand Blvd.)
Capacity: About 600
Opening date: Friday Aug 6, 1950
Opening Billing: Father is a Bachelor with Coleen Gray, and The Palomino
Closing date: Did not reopen for the 68 season.
Built by: Leo Thomas and sold to R.L. Barton about 1964.
The remnants of this theater may still be seen (at least the ticket box office) from Grand Blvd. between Eastern and 63rd. Aerial photos show the entrance to be in the 5800 block and the area is very overgrown with lots of poison ivy. The theater was located in a unique section of town which was not very fashionable. The city has evolved except for a small area around where the drive-in was located. Some of the peripheral lot lights are still present in the densely packed wooded area. They hang as if they eternally doomed to guard the long since dead drive in.
A long forgotten memo from Louis Spagna (General manager of Greater Oklahoma City Amusements to R. Lewis Barton dated March 10, 1971 reads:
As you know, the Cinema 66, which is included in the operating agreement with Gulf States theaters, has been virtually abandoned and its condition has deteriorated terribly.
We have been approached recently by an operator of adult motion pictures and have received an offer to lease this particular providing it can be released from the operating agreement with Gulf States Theaters.
We believe the policy Gulf States has adopted for the 66 is a serious violation of the operating agreement. It is also apparent that they do not intend to reopen this theater; therefore, it would appear to be in everyone’s best interest if Gulf States were to restore the theater to its prior condition and release it from the operating agreement.
Wesley Horton AIDA
POTEAU (Le Flore County)
Tower Drive-in Theatre
Found ad in July 1952
Location given as 1 Mile North
Location: N 35° 4.50',W 94° 37.66'
Satellite photo shows little remains
1955 Theatre Catalog lists Ray Hughes an O.K. Kemp as
1965 IMPA lists Hughes & Kemp as owners
1965 IMPA lists Capacity as 208
1984 IMPA lists P. Zearley as owner
Odom Drive-in Theatre (Barton’s 77 Drive-in Theatre) (article, ad)
Opened July 2, 1947
Closed Dec 7, 1947 as Odom, reopened Friday, Mar 6,1948 as Barton’s 77
Closed 1974 Did not reopen for the 1975 season
Final showing, week of Aug 27, 1975. See picture of Daily Oklahoman
Location 9301 S. Shields Blvd.
1948-49 Theatre Catalog lists as 77 Drive-in Exec RL Barton M8-C900-CH3
1949-1950 Theatre Catalog lists RL Barton as owner M9-C1000-D7*
1965 IMPA lists RL Barton as owner
1965 IMPA lists capacity as 800
Location by GPS N 35º 22.396’ W 97º 30.226’
1974, July 25, Drive in movie operator charged
Last movies shown, Burt Reynolds in “The Longest Yard,” and “The Gambler”
Fourteen Flags Drive-in Theatre (closing article, ad)
Opened July 3, 1968
Closed 1982, did not reopen for the 1983 season
Located at 99th and South Western, West side of road
Capacity given at 1600 Cars (Oklahoma’s Largest Drive-in Theatre)
1968, Mar 31 Big Drive-in theater due
1968, Jun 30 Largest Drive-in theater in Oklahoma to open in city
1979 IMPA Capacity not given. Owner listed as Staton Enterprises
1984 IMPA lists Mid America Theatres as owner
Last show was Sept 30, 1982 (coincided with Mid America
Theatres going out of business.)
Location by GPS N 35º 22.113’ W 97º 31.816’
The first drive in theatre I ever worked at. While writing a paper in English Comp at the local Junior College, I decided to write about what happened to the drive-in theatres.
I went out to interview the manager and ended up getting hired as the assistant manager/ relief projectionist.
Enjoyed the heck out of it! Wish I could go back and do it again as the 14 flags was the best drive-in in the city. Although they were non union, it allowed me to get into the union the next year. A career that would keep me engaged well into the ‘80’s.
Actually, the reason the address was off was becasue Midwest city at one point renumbered the street addresses…
Tinker Drive-in (ad)
Opened 10 Aug 1948
Closed 1961 Did not reopen for the 1962 season
Location 2301 S. Air Depot Blvd. Site currently
occupied by Texaco Starmart.
Location: N 35° 26.51', W97° 24.43'
1948, Aug 7 Theatre to open
1948-49 Theatre Catalog lists as under construction
1949-1950 Theatre Catalog lists RL Barton as owner M9-C500-D7
1955 Theatre Catalog lists RL Barton as Exec C450
1955 Theatre Catalog lists address as 500 N. Air Depot
1965 IMPA lists owner as RL Barton
1965 IMPA lists capacity as 450
Interesting aside here. This theatre is one of the main things that got my interest started in Drive-in Theatre history. Although it closed at the end of the 61 season, by the late 60’s houses had been built to the south of the then abandoned drive in. Sometime in the ensuing years, there was a fire which destroyed the concession stand and projection booth. My cousin lived in one of the houses built to the south of the drive in.
We used to play and later ride motorcycles in the empty field. The screen tower was still standing and had been incorporated into a auto body shop. During the early summer evenings, the workers at the body shop would play their radio loud enough to be heard. It was like the swan song of the now dead drive in.
All these things together caused me to look into what happened to the drive in years later and develop the basics of drive in research.
Krcrook asks about the location of the Skyview. It was NOT located on 66. It was located on 23rd street, East of central Oklahoma city. It is actually state highway 62.
When it closed, it was operated by the same Caporal family that owned the Mayflower theatre in Oklahoma city. (the were related to the Caporal family who owned the Rivera drive in in south Oklahoma city, but not the same family.)
The Skyview closed at the end of the 1983 and did not reopen for the 84 season.
Skyview Drive-in Theatre (ad)
Opened June 12, 1948
Last Feature was Sun, Oct 16, 1983 (Malibu Hot Summer, Cinderella 2000, Bedroom Stewerdess)
Closed 1983, did not reopen for the 1984 season
Located at NE 23rd and Coltrane (Northeast Corner),
“23rd Street One mile East of Eastern”
1948, June 13 New Drive-in theatre to open
1948-49 Theatre Catalog lists Sam Caporal as Exec M8-C992-D7-CH3
1949-1950 Theatre Catalog lists Sam Caporal as owner M9-C892-D7
1955 Theatre Catalog lists Sam Caporal as Exec C1000
1965 IMPA lists same info, Capacity as 900
1979 IMPA, does not list capacity. Owner given as C. Caporl
1984 IMPA lists C. Caporl as owner
Location by GPS N 35º 29.600’ W 97º 26.489’
Skyvue Drive-in (ad)
Grand opening Friday, April 16, 1948
Located on 2 ½ miles north of Pioneer woman statue on Highway 77
Location: N 36° 44.69',W 97° 3.95'
Satellite photo shows partial lot, with construction on screen end.
1948-49 Theatre Catalog lists Griffith Theatres as owner M8-C608-D7-CH3
1949-1950 Theatre Catalog lists Video Theatres as owner M9-C608-D7
1955 Theatre Catalog lists Video Theatres as owner C472
1965 IMPA lists same information
Location: N 34° 0.30', W 94° 44.30'
Location ( entrance): N 34° 0.32', W 94° 44.37'
Satellite photograph shows lot plainly, possibly remains
no ad found in June 68 for either Broken arrow theatre1984 IMPA lists P. Silva as owner
Come on guys. . this one is easy…
From the AIDA database. .
CLAREMORE (Rogers Co.)
Rogers Drive-in (article, ad)
Grand opening Friday, Jun 16, 1950
Location: N 36° 18.46', W 95° 34.33'
Location given as 1 ½ mile East on Highway 20
Operated by Video Theatres 16 June 1950 to 3 May 83
AKA GRIFFITH which became VIDEO theatres…
Listed in 1955 Theatre Catalog with a capacity of 300
Listed in 1960 International Motion Picture Almanac
with a capacity of 296
1984 IMPA lists Video Theatres as owner.
Aerial photo suggest remains Actually very little. A part of the fence and a bit of the entrance concrete. .
Riviera Drive-in Theatre (article, ad)
Opened August 22, 1967
Located at 8 SE 59th
Location by GPS N 35º 24.368 W 97º 30.646
Newspaper showed a “Swap Shop” on May 3, 1968
Screen blew down during winter of 1999, theatre did not reopen.
Owned By George Caporal. (I should add that George Caporal had died at this point and ownership of the drive in went to his son, Sam Caporal. Sam was an attorney and did not want to have anything to do with running the drive in.
The reason the screen blew down, was that it was constructed of oilfield drilling pipe. The only problem was that in 1967, no one bothered to weld caps on the TOP of the pipe, and they basically stood with water in them for 32 years…time took its toll and with a good wind, down came the screen.
I did have the privilege of being the Union projectionist there in 1985 and part of 86. If you want to see the truly sad end for the drive in, there is a great set of pictures of its stripping and vandalism here:
Truly a sad end for a once great, but tawdry drive in. I am sure there are lots of people in Oklahoma City who remember seeing such wonderful films as, “Hell’s Angels unchained,” or “Glory Stompers” in the late 60s to “Candy stripe Nurses” in the late 70’s…
Just for the record, it was not on S. Delaware, it was on the South Side of 71st street. .
To expound on xxx’s link to my material on Mike Ransom’s excellent Tulsa TV memories site:
Riverside Drive-in Theatre (ad)
Location given as between Peoria and Lewis Ave. on 71St Street
Location: N 36° 3.64'N, W 95° 58.19'
Satellite photo shows site occupied by buildings (apartments?)
Grand opening Friday, May 7, 1948
Operated By Video Theatres 30 April 1948 until 10 Nov 1977
Opening ad states “Tulsa’s Third and Nearest Drive-in Theatre”
1948-49 Theatre Catalog lists Griffith Theatre as Exec M8-C602-D7-CH3
1949-1950 Theatre Catalog lists Ralph Talbot as Exec M9-C600-D7
1955 Theatre Catalog lists Video Theatres as owner C600
1965 IMPA lists Griffith Metropolitan Theatres as owner (Video Theatres)
1965 IMPA lists capacity as 604
1979 IMPA, lists capacity as 500. Owned by Video Theatres
1984 IMPA lists Video Theatres as ownerTalbot owned downtown theatres
Excellent find Joe Vogel and SiliconSam… This one was unknown to me. .
NORMAN (Canadian County)
Rancho Drive-in (Ad)
Grand opening 30 June 1950
Location given as 1 Mile East on Highway 9
Operated by Video Theatres 30 Jun 1950 until 3 May 83 (?)
1955 Theatre Catalog lists Video Theatre as owner C3121965 IMPA lists Video Theatres as owner
1965 IMPA lists capacity as 352
1979 IMPA, lists capacity as 300. Owned by Video
1984 IMPA lists Video Theatres as owner
IDABEL (Mc Curtain County)
Location: (Entrance) N 33° 53.82', W 94° 47.34'
Location: (Theatre) N 33° 53.87', W 94° 47.33'
Not found on topo map or satellite photo
Not listed in 1955 Theatre Catalog
1964 Opening set for Rancho
1964 [date omitted] Rancho Drive-in Opens Thursday
1965 IMPA lists Tri State theatres as owner
1965 IMPA lists capacity as 200
1965 IMPA lists Tri State Theatres as 800 Paramount Building, Des Moines 9, Iowa.
1979 IMPA, lists capacity as 300, J. Gore as owner
2004 Spoke with Ms. Gore. (580) 28–*** DI closed in 79, marquee still standing. Drive in was standing in 1961. They bought it and refurbished it
Oklahoma Drive-in Theatre
Ad found in Grandfield paper [date omitted]
Not found on Topo map or satellite photo
1955 Theatre Catalog lists Glen Thompson of Thompson Theatres as owner C200
1965 IMPA lists owner as Charles Ralls
1979 IMPA, lists capacity as 200. Owned by L. Hall
1984 IMPA lists L. Hall as owner
I dare say that clipping looks very familiar. Perhaps it came from a listing I posted on another site, contrasting the first and the last ad from the drive in. Notice too, the Altus Drive in ad.
See the posting at: www.driveins.org/aida4.html
The Northwest Highway was Oklahoma City’s first drive in. Opening the same day that the Odom’s drive in opened on S. Shields. (Later to become the Barton’s ‘77 drivein.)
Just for the record, the drive in opened on July 2, 1947, The last showing was on Sept 15, 1979. That clipping is the last ad published.
It opened May 22, 1963. It closed for good at the end of the 1974 season, and never reopened for the 75 season. Kencmcintyre is correct in that the opening of a sewage plant near the theatre was the main thing leading to it’s failure. R.L. Barton attempted to sue the city, as well as spraying pleasant smelling fragrances around the perimeter before the shows.
Sewage treatment plants killed two drive in theatres in OKC, the Fairpark and the North Penn Twin.
Had to have been the:
Unable to locate on topo map or satellite photo
1955 Theatre Catalog lists K. Lee Williams of Sevier Theatres bldg. De Queen Ark. C150
Not a big drive in, to be sure. Given the only listing I found was the 55 theatre catalog, I doubt it was around long. .
From the American Institute of Drive-in Archaeology database:
Moonlight Drive-in Theatre (article, ad)
Location given as North on Main
Location: N 36° 7.66' W 97° 3.42'
Satellite photography shows no remains and unknown building on site
Grand opening 15 Jun 1949
Newspaper account lists Claude E. Leachman as managing director of Griffith-Leachman theatres.
Operated By Video Theatres from 16 Jun 1949 until 7 Feb 1968
1949-50 Theatre Catalog lists Video theatres as oner M9-C400-D7
1955 Theatre Catalog lists Video Theatres as owner C327
1965 IMPA lists Video Theatres as owner
1965 IMPA lists capacity as 400
Side note, Lostmemory mentions that IMPA actually gets something right. I have to confirm as a long time Drive in researcher, I discovered that back before the days of the EVIL SAMS DRIVE-IN THEATRE GUIDE…Seems that IMPA listed something and rarely if ever updated it. And it was typical that a theatre might have been closed 10 years and still be listed in the IMPA.
The notation at the top, (article, ad) indicates that I have located and copied both the original opening ad for the theatre, and a short newspaper article about it.
Wesley Horton AIDA. .
If anyone is wondering “who the heck this guy is” Randell Kunkell mentions it at the bottom of his Drive in theaters of the Mid atlantic at:
He even continues to list the columns I wrote for the old Evil Sam’s site here:
The Mayflower theatre was a soft core porn theatre until the end. They had tried to convert to showing video presentations, as the 35mm soft porn supply had dried up and died. They did a scant business for about a year before going belly up.
I was the last union projectionist there for (IATSE local 380).
Their business was not very good, as on a good day, they might sell 30 tickets.