Puget Park Drive-In

13020 Meridian Avenue South,
Everett, WA 98208

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Showing 16 comments

davidcoppock on March 30, 2017 at 12:38 am

Why was it called Puget Park?

thisisjohnbook on January 29, 2013 at 8:04 pm

A website showing photos of the drive-in, taken from 2005 to after its close in 2010, where it looks like they were about to clear out the drive-in in order to make way for the medical center. http://www.waymarking.com/gallery/default.aspx?f=1&guid=ee3e173a-6fa7-4fc6-9c2b-bcfc24097608&gid=2

R Norenberg
R Norenberg on July 30, 2012 at 9:13 pm

@ 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.

Andrea on July 28, 2012 at 3:20 pm

@ R Norenberg, You’re absolutely right, there is plenty of empty commercial land in that part of Snohomish County that could have been just as appropriate for Swedish.

I’m sure SRO got an offer they couldn’t refuse, and perhaps they were looking for a way out of the theater business —– don’t forget that SRO would have had to invest $50K-$100K to switch to digital projectors by the end of 2013.

The other five remaining drive-ins in Washington State are grappling with this issue as I write.

R Norenberg
R Norenberg on July 28, 2012 at 1:37 am

@ 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.

Andrea on June 10, 2012 at 1:50 pm

@ HogGravynChitlins, the area in question was in dire need of emergency room services closer than the next closest hospitals — a 15-20 minute ride north or south was previously the difference between life or death for many people in emergency situations.

(Swedish isn’t the only hospital with financial troubles; caring for the underinsured and uninsured is breaking the bank for everyone — except insurance and pharmaceutical companies.)

HogGravynChitlins on June 10, 2012 at 11:05 am

I read in the paper that Swedish Medical has fallen on hard times and will have to lay off hundreds, did that expansion even need to be built? The future of America: nothing but Condos, Clinics and pharmacies. The first to house the billions being kept alive forever, and rest to dispense the medical miracles.

rivest266 on January 21, 2012 at 2:31 pm

This opened on February 15th, 1968.

R Norenberg
R Norenberg on June 16, 2010 at 8:03 pm

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.

Andrea on January 29, 2010 at 2:57 pm

When Everett’s Puget Park Drive-In closed in September 2009 for the season, patrons had no idea that the triple bill “Nine,” “The Proposal” and “District 9" would be the final films to flicker on the 50'x 100' screen.

Owner Sterling Realty Organization has made an agreement with Swedish Health Services of Seattle to open a $30 million stand-alone emergency room on the drive-in property.

More can be read here: View link

moviefan65 on February 16, 2009 at 1:44 am

I live in Everett and LIVE for the movies (especially the old ones) and I hope this Drive-In NEVER closes because the Drive-In theater is the LAST remaining part of Americana from the past! Ironically, I’ve never been to this drive-in, but then I have a pretty good excuse: I don’t own a car!
I used to go to the old Aurora Drive-In LOTS as a youth. Today, at it it’s very location is a Sam’s Club! (like we need more outlet stores) LONG LIVE THE AMERICAN DRIVE-IN!

R Norenberg
R Norenberg on June 5, 2008 at 9:00 pm

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 ’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 I’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.

LynnTwin on May 30, 2007 at 9:41 pm

The Puget Park is now open for the Summer 2007 season! See you all there!

punkinfan on July 27, 2006 at 8:30 pm

I could not disagree more with Steve Papas' comments. First of all, it is now summer 2006 and the Puget Park is open for business seven nights a week through Labor Day and then weekends only as long as the weather permits.
In the past several years that I have been attending the Puget Park, I have found the entire staff to be very friendly and accomodating. The snack bar has been spruced up since last year and they have a decent menu of movie treats. Very affordable too. When is the last time you didn’t have to take out a second mortgage on your home to make a purchase at a theater concession stand?
As for the restroom, I don’t know how much space Mr. Papas needs for himself but I find the men’s room at the Puget Park to be more than ample and it is kept very clean as well.
As for the improvements, it does appear that the entire lot was repaved since last summer, not just patch work. There is also a new marquis over the ticket booth at the entrance. At least I think that is new. I didn’t notice it last year.
As for the movie going experience. I love the Puget Park. I just saw a killer double feature of Pirates of the Carribean and Superman Returns. Played through the FM radio in your car the audio is stellar and gives the sensation of surround sound.
Occasionally, the place can get a bit rowdy with certain undesirables but you can get that anyplace. But that is VERY rare. Most of the time there are no problems what so ever.
I only have two criticisms of the Puget Park. I wish that they would keep the snack bar open for at least half of the second film. Sometimes you get hungry during the second movie and some people arrive to see only the second show. They are out of luck if they don’t get to the snack bar during intermission.
The other suggestion I have would be for the Drive-In to air a snack bar commercial right after the first film. Like the ones we remember from our childhood with the candy wheel, the dancing popcorn boxes, the hot dog jumping into the bun, etc. It would purely be for nolstalgia, but heck, it would boost the business at the concession stand.
I truly hope that Sterling Realty will preserve the Drive-In movie experience by keeping the Puget Park open for a long long time and not cave to the pressure to develope the land.

bigbill on February 15, 2006 at 7:24 am

This place is hands down the worst place I have seen a movie. The poor quality in service from the staff is worss than the picture quality. Not to mention the less than ample bathroom facilitys. People do seem to enjoy drinking there. Its always a party in the lot and people going to the fence line to pee. (so nasty)
As for 10 – 15 years of being open. I spoke with an employee of the place last season and they explained that each year is a new one and they never are sure if the next will be open.
If the paveing work is going to be the lock. well all they did was a new walk way and some patch work. The place is still a trip hazard to say the least. I’m not even sure if they are opening this year , It seems that their web site has gone up for sale. www.pugetswap.com

rodeojack on October 2, 2005 at 2:50 pm

The Puget Park Drive-In is the last remaining outdoor operation of the SRO company, once one of Washington’s largest theatre chains. SRO, formerly based at their flagship theatre in Bellevue, WA., had lots of indoor theatres, a few bowling alleys, several radio stations, and a handful of drive-in theatres, mostly in Western Washington, but also in Eastern Washington cities like Spokane.

As did the United Drive-Ins chain, SRO evolved from an entertainment company to a property development and management firm. The Puget Park Drive-In is said to have sentimental value to the owner, who, I would imagine, is not financially challenged. They recently did some significant remodeling and paving, and word is they see at least another 10 to 15 years there as a well-run drive-in and swap meet.