Comanche Drive-In

17063 County Road 306,
Buena Vista, CO 81211

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Comanche Drive-In

The Comanche Drive-In opened in August 1966. This single screen drive-in has a capacity for 250 cars. The Comanche Drive-In is still listed as open.

Contributed by Lost Memory

Recent comments (view all 13 comments)

Anthony L. Vazquez-Hernandez
Anthony L. Vazquez-Hernandez on March 24, 2009 at 10:16 pm

The Comanche Drive-In in Buena Vista, Colorado is not closed but its future is up in the air (no pun intended). The theater was open intermittently throughout the ‘07 season due to sound equipment issues. On May 8th of 2008, the owner’s wife very suddenly and unexpectedly passed away right before the drive-in was to reopen, so needless to say, the drive-in never opened that year. John Groy,the owner (who also built the theater) is about 80 years old and his wife was some 15 years his junior so I personally suspect that she had quite a bit to do with the theater’s upkeep and management. It is still unknown if it will reopen this year. It may be a good idea to give Mr. Groy a call and encourage him to open up for '09.

Anthony L. Vazquez-Hernandez
Anthony L. Vazquez-Hernandez on March 24, 2009 at 10:17 pm

I would also like to note that this is a very original drive-in. It still runs 2 thousand foot changeover, on two RCA projectors with a carbon arc light source.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on November 18, 2010 at 3:23 pm

Surprizes me they can even use Carbon Arcs.thought OSHA banned them.

jwmovies
jwmovies on September 22, 2012 at 8:04 pm

Address above is incorrect. Approx. location of this drive-in is on County Road 339, just south of County Road 306.

comanche
comanche on November 7, 2012 at 4:17 pm

Correct address is 17063 County Road 306 Buena Vista CO, approximately 3 miles west on Hwy 306. Mailing address PO Box 1046. 719-395-2766. Open May through September as weather permits.

MichaelKilgore
MichaelKilgore on June 10, 2019 at 8:22 am

A lengthy June 15, 2013 article in the Chaffee County Times indicated that the original owner’s son, also named John Groy, would continue operating the Comanche using the original projection equipment.

MichaelKilgore
MichaelKilgore on September 19, 2019 at 10:27 am

Anthony L. Vazquez-Hernandez’s article link from Sept. 2006 is now dead, but I found what it might have been at NewsLibrary.com (available through some public libraries, or with money). Vail Daily published an article on July 25, 2003 about the Groy family and the Comanche. A few highlights:

John Sr. and Pearl Groy (for whom Buena Vista’s indoor Pearl was named), opened the Comanche in August 1966. The drive-in lost its final 40 in-car speakers “to lightning” in 2002. At the time of the article, they were still using a two-projector system instead of a platter.

MichaelKilgore
MichaelKilgore on February 9, 2020 at 10:25 am

Boxoffice, Oct. 16, 1967: “John Groy has opened his new Comanche Drive-In at Buena Vista, Colo. It has a 250-car capacity and operates in conjunction with the Pearl Theatre.”

MichaelKilgore
MichaelKilgore on February 21, 2020 at 2:22 pm

The first reference I could find in the local Chaffee County Republican was on its front page on July 14, 1967. “The first drive in theatre to hit the pike in the Buena Vista area, The Comanche, is now open and showing nightly at 9:00. Now showing is "Island of Terror”, one you shouldn’t miss!“ The first Comanche ad I could find was in the next issue on July 21.

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