Lake Air Drive-In

8335 NW 39th Expressway,
Bethany, OK 73008

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Lake Air Drive-In Theater Screen

The Lake Air Drive-In opened in April 1950 and closed at the end of the 1967 season.

Contributed by Jack Hunter

Recent comments (view all 10 comments)

seymourcox on June 2, 2009 at 1:15 pm

Located at 8335 NW 39th Expressway, Bethany (westside of Oklahom City), I’ve been told by a reliable source that the Lake Air Drive-In was once a beautiful facility. The entrance drive was lined by lattice fencing, with baroque trim, topped by Victorian gaslight fixtures. Manicured landscaping was exceptionally lush with a vast array of varied foliage.
Below the screentower was a small playground park surrounded by royal gold cannas, boardered by hostas plants. There was a candy cane striped swingset, candy striped teeter-totters, spiral slide, and a round trampoline housed inside a white gazebo.
The concession stand had a brick patio enclosed by an iron picket fence. The enterior was Victorian styled with flocked foil wallpaper and gingerbread trim. It offered the usual hot dogs, popcorn, candy, and pop, but its popular specialty was a breaded mutton steak sandwich, topped with mayo and onion rings (this sandwich was also a favorite across town at the Ice Cream Parlor inside Frontier City Amusement Park).
Time passes swiftly, after the Lake Air closed for the last time the lush foliage was no longer cared for, and began to take over the grounds. Standing in ruin today, one can still observe that this was once a special place in which to view a movie or two.
On the below link the Lake Air is erroneously listed as the Lakeside. Recent photos are posted of what the Lake Air looks like now -
View link

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on March 19, 2010 at 5:38 pm

In 1956 it was owned by R.E.&C.B. MacFarland.

TLSLOEWS on March 21, 2010 at 7:22 pm

Was it by the Lake Mike?

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on March 26, 2010 at 1:57 pm

Boy,TLSLOEWS,I bet it was.

seymourcox on July 25, 2010 at 3:20 pm

This link labels this as Lakeside, but these are actually images of the once lovely Lake Air Drive-In, OKC.

missmelbatoast on January 14, 2011 at 4:59 pm

Shown on this informative link are recent snapshots of the former LakeAire Drive-In Theatre …

MichaelKilgore on February 23, 2019 at 1:23 am

The Motion Picture Almanacs listed the Lake Air under Oklahoma City.

MPA drive-in list summary:

  • 1950-59: capacity 506, owner R. E. & C. B. McFarland
  • 1960-66: capacity 506, owner Robert Barton
  • 1969-76: capacity 506, no owner info
  • 1977: off the list

The May 19, 1951 Daily Oklahoman reported a recent storm that “tore up the screen of the Lake Air drive-in theater on the site of the old Lakeside golf course.”

MichaelKilgore on February 23, 2019 at 1:31 am

The Okie Mod Squad web site has a couple of photos of the ruins, posted in August 2018, as well as more notes about the Lake Air.

The site says the golf range morphed into the drive-in in 1950. “According to one expert, ‘It was built by Robert and Charles Mc Farland and sold to local theater magnet, Robert Lewis Barton in 1959.’ … The drive-in closed after the 1967 season and became a go-cart track then a golf range again and maybe even a church before being abandoned altogether in the early 2000s.”

Kenmore on February 23, 2019 at 10:28 pm

The projection booth/concession stand that is shown in the photos and appears in a 2015 Google Street View appears to have been demolished from the latest overhead Google Map view.

MichaelKilgore on June 6, 2019 at 12:48 am

The June 10, 1950 issue of BoxOffice reported that the “Lake-Air, owned by R. E. and C. B. McFarland, a 600-car situation at Oklahoma City,” opened in April.

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