Twi-Light Gardens Drive-In

9520 N. May Avenue,
Oklahoma City, OK 73120

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Twi-Light Gardens - view towards the screen

The Twi-Light Drive-In was opened on September 15, 1950 with Forrest Tucker in “Rock Island Trail”. By 1955 it was operated by Video Independent Theaters Inc. It was located near the Village area on N. May Avenue close to W. Britton Road.

Later renamed Twi-Light Gardens Drive-In, it continued to operate into the 1970’s.

Contributed by Jack Hunter

Recent comments (view all 11 comments)

xxx on July 9, 2006 at 11:31 am

Twilight Gardens Drive-In Theatre was charming. Fragrant pine trees and foliage lined winding, white gravel entrance drives. Boxoffice lines were made less stressful when one could watch cool dancing water spill over an exquisite five tier fountain.
The concession stand was nondescript until darkness fell to reveal that it was outlined in soft blue indirect lighting.
Situated beneath a massive screen tower was a joyous play-land that enticed children with a miniature train, a carrousel, a ferris wheel, boat rides, a playhouse maze, and (for the first 150 children) free toy balloons and/or whistles.

SpikeSpiegel6262044 on July 9, 2006 at 2:05 pm

Oh man that sounded freakin' sweet! My old drive-in, The Hartford was fun, there was a playground and it was just sweet.

Rodney on September 10, 2007 at 8:56 pm

Vintage construction shots of Twilight Gardens can be seen by typing in word ‘twilight.
View link

missmelbatoast on May 29, 2009 at 7:59 pm

Here is a fantastic link that has a lot of classic Oklahoma theatres. Click below to read a brief history of Twilight Gardens Drive-in, with lots of photos. That grand opening ad doesn’t exaggerate the magnificence of the graceful entrance foujntain.
View link

kaidanerwin on August 20, 2011 at 6:23 pm

Twilight Gardens was literally a block behind my childhood house on Carleton Way in The Village. Everyone could see the back of the massive screen from their backyards along Carlton Way and Chaucer Drive. My parents, older brother and older sister used to pile into my dad’s station wagon, fill the back end of it up with blankets and pillows and go see a double feature there on hot summer nights in the 60’s – lots of screwball comedies, the first Clint Eastwood spaghetti westerns (The Good, The Bad and the Ugly, etc) and James Bond movies. I remember the multi-tiered water fountain and all the multicolored lights on it near the entry to the theater and the same colored lights along the perimeter fence, the crunch of the gravel under the tires as you arrived and left. It felt kinda magical going there. By the 60’s and 70’s when I was going there, the kiddy rides at the foot of the screen were pretty broken down and no longer electrified. We used to push the carousel ourselves to make it go round and same with the little train. Usually, we kids fell asleep in the back of the station wagon by the middle of the second feature and I remember so well the sound of the crunching gravel coming up through the floor of the car where we slept as my dad would slowly pull out of the theater and drive us home.

“Okie”’s comment is not quite right. The Quail Twin movie theater was in the Quail Creek part of OKC, something like 20 blocks away. My family and I moved to Quail Creek when I was 13 years old and that theater was apart of the Quail Plaza Shopping Center. Twilight Gardens was in The Village not far from the corner of Britton Road and May Avenue. The Quail Twin was up near May Avenue and Hefner Road.

kpaulsen on April 26, 2012 at 11:14 am

This is to kaidanerwin. I also lived on CArlton Way, at 2821, and played with my friends behind Twilight Gardens during that same time. Do you remember all the pigeons, tons of them. My parents also took us in our station wagon and my mom made us put on our pajamas when we went to the drive in. So its weird cause we also moved to Quail Creek from there. I have to know you but the name does not sound familiar.

whorton on February 6, 2013 at 4:05 am

Just wanted to take a moment and correct Okie’s assertion that the Quail Twin was built on the site of the old Twilight gardens. Please take a look at this article:

Which is courtesy of the Daily Oklahoman.

The drive in was located on the North East corner of May and Britton. The Quail Twin was located in the shopping center at the North East corner of May and Hefner. .

thesparky1 on February 9, 2013 at 10:33 pm

It would have been the end of the era when we started going to this theater. We moved from S. 74th and May to Bethany. The first movie I remember here was Planet of the Apes. The kids play area was run down and not operated. Enough of us kids got together and were able to push the train. My parents would comment about movies they saw with their friends, like Dirty Harry and Death Wish. For the longest time I forgot about this theatre but everytime I was north of Britton and May, I had a de-ja-vue feeling that was overhelming.

Mister_Comics on October 5, 2017 at 6:19 pm

Newspaper ads show the drive-in name as “Twilight” which is wrong. The drive-in marquee shows it as" Twi-Light"

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