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 closed in 1972.

Contributed by Jack Hunter

Recent comments (view all 16 comments)

kpaulsen
kpaulsen on April 26, 2012 at 8:14 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
whorton on February 6, 2013 at 1:05 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:

http://archive.newsok.com/Repository/ml.asp?Ref=RE9LLzE5ODEvMDkvMjcjQXIwNTUwNg%3D%3D&Mode=Gif&Locale=english-skin

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
thesparky1 on February 9, 2013 at 7:33 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
Mister_Comics on October 5, 2017 at 3:19 pm

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

MichaelKilgore
MichaelKilgore on February 23, 2019 at 3:48 pm

This drive-in closed some time in 1972. I noticed it in an ad in June 1972. It was the subject of an auction on Nov. 16, 1972, and a Daily Oklahoman article from March 11, 1973 announced plans for a mall at the site “once occupied by the Twilight Gardens drive-in theater.”

MichaelKilgore
MichaelKilgore on May 18, 2019 at 11:31 am

Name-change date hint from the Jan. 9, 1954 Motion Picture Herald under the Oklahoma City header: “A new screen has been installed at Twilight Gardens drive-in theatre.”

Pedantic note: Since Cinema Treasures' style is to list a theater by its final name, the Twilight Gardens should be spelled that way here, without a hyphen. I’ve seen references both ways, but the final newspaper ads and mentions had those two complete words.

Mister_Comics
Mister_Comics on May 18, 2019 at 3:01 pm

Newspapers are known to make mistakes. The marquee never was changed, always showing it as Twi-Light". Cinema Treasures could add both versions of the drive-in name since papers usually had it in print as “Twilight”. CT’s call.

MichaelKilgore
MichaelKilgore on May 18, 2019 at 4:11 pm

Hi MC! Love that Crawling Thing ad you uploaded – I wonder how the flying and creeping critters played out at a drive-in?

I agree completely that newspapers err, but look at that same ad. In advertisements, paid for by a business, that business approves everything. Years of those ads with a consistent spelling sway me into believing that’s how that business wanted to be known, which is my definition of a name. Then again, the marquee is fixed in metal, so maybe that’s how this drive-in should be remembered.

Mister_Comics
Mister_Comics on May 18, 2019 at 4:35 pm

Also shown in newspapers as “Twilight Gardens Auto Theater”. Makes me wonder just who was responsible for what was put in the ads?

As for the Crawling Thing… there were many casualties!

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