Riverside Drive-In

2100 24th Avenue SW,
Norman, OK 73072

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Riverside Drive-In  24th Avenue SW and Van Buren Street, Norman, OK... Marquee announces end of Riverside Drive-In's 32 years in Norman...1981.

The Riverside Drive-In was one of two drive-in theaters in Norman. It was opened in 1948 and closed in 1980. It has long since been demolished.

Contributed by Lauren Grubb

Recent comments (view all 7 comments)

BoxOfficeBill on August 4, 2005 at 10:43 am

That takes your breath away: closed for Christmas vacation! If memory serves me, the holiday season was as busy a time for movie-going as it is now, and perhaps even busier. Did drive-ins do a different sort of business?

kpdennis on April 26, 2009 at 12:49 pm

Norman OK is also a college town – home of the University of Oklahoma. So when 10,000-15,000 students leave town for three weeks in December, it could put a crimp into business. Plus, it’s cold in the winter at night in Oklahoma!

I believe this is where I caught my favorite rock band’s motion picture debut – The Ramones in “Rock And Roll High School.” The film “premiered” in drive-ins across the south and midwest USA, and I know I saw it the first night it played in Norman in 1979 (where I was a student).

ozarkerbob on June 3, 2009 at 8:24 am

I was a projectionist there for a few years in the late 60’s. Neat job for a student. I remember doing my calculus homework on the back of the “coming week” programs. 15 minutes of study time, 3 minutes work, repeat for 10 or 20 times. then close up by rousting the folks with the steamed up windows on the back row.

seymourcox on June 10, 2009 at 10:19 am

Constructed in ‘High Tech" stylig, thin metal tubing formed brightly colored box frames on which fencing, boxoffice, screentower, and concession stand were structured. The Riverside had lush landscaping, much of which was evergreen so there would be lovely color year round. Even the ramps were covered with green grass. I always wondered how this grass was kept so green with all the traffic a drive-in encounters. Below site has futher info -
View link

jwmovies on February 26, 2019 at 5:21 am

A more accurate address for this theater is 2100 24th Ave SW, Norman, OK 73072. This points directly to the entrance road part of which is still visible.

Please update.

NeonMichael on May 15, 2019 at 11:07 am

The Riverside closed after the 1980 season, per a Sept. 27, 1981 article in The Daily Oklahoman. Elvin B. Anderson, who had owned the Riverside for 32 years, decided not to reopen in 1981. “Vandalism and lack of first-run films were the primary reasons for the closing, he said.”

Kenmore on May 15, 2019 at 11:37 am

There seems to be no traces of the drive-in remaining. It is unusual for the ramps and foundations to be removed or covered over if the land was not to be developed for another purpose.

The same thing happened to the 11th Street Drive-In in Tulsa. Dirt was brought in to essentially cover that drive-in which remained undeveloped for many years until a church was built on that property.

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