Comanche Drive-In

17063 County Road 306,
Buena Vista, CO 81211

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MichaelKilgore on February 21, 2020 at 10:22 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.

MichaelKilgore on February 9, 2020 at 6:25 pm

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 on September 19, 2019 at 6:27 pm

Anthony L. Vazquez-Hernandez’s article link from Sept. 2006 is now dead, but I found what it might have been at (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 on June 10, 2019 at 4:22 pm

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.

comanche on November 8, 2012 at 12:17 am

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.

jwmovies on September 23, 2012 at 4:04 am

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

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on November 18, 2010 at 11:23 pm

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

Anthony L. Vazquez-Hernandez
Anthony L. Vazquez-Hernandez on March 25, 2009 at 5:17 am

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.

Anthony L. Vazquez-Hernandez
Anthony L. Vazquez-Hernandez on March 25, 2009 at 5:16 am

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.

kencmcintyre on April 3, 2007 at 9:31 pm

There is a nice color photo by Dave Nance here. Click on page 3:

Anthony L. Vazquez-Hernandez
Anthony L. Vazquez-Hernandez on September 11, 2006 at 4:35 am

I visted the drive in in July of ‘06 and saw “Over The Hedge”. The presentation was god. This drive in features first run films.

Anthony L. Vazquez-Hernandez
Anthony L. Vazquez-Hernandez on September 11, 2006 at 4:22 am

A wonderful, nostalgic single screen drive in. My all time favorite drive in! As of summer ‘06, the theater still employs carbon arc lamps and 2000’ change over system. Owned and opeated by The Groy Family who constructed it in 1966.

Link to and interesting news article about the theater:

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