Thunderbird Drive-In

5533 N. 59th Avenue,
Glendale, AZ 85301

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Thunderbird Drive-In

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Thunderbird Drive-In was a large single screen drive-in located just north of Camelback Road on 59th Avenue. I believe that it was opened sometime in the very early-1960’s and gone by the late-1980’s.

Contributed by Dr. Jim Herndon

Recent comments (view all 6 comments)

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on April 13, 2007 at 12:47 pm

This map shows the location of the former drive-in:
http://tinyurl.com/2ycocy

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on December 19, 2008 at 5:34 pm

The Thunderbird Drive-In is listed in 1980 with a capacity for 1,050 cars. Operator at that time was Mann Theatres.

looker1208
looker1208 on November 18, 2009 at 7:39 pm

This is one of my earliest memories of a drive in. One of the most memorable nights was seeing Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. It was pouring rain but as it was opening night, no one wanted to leave. I think the last thing I ever saw there was Love At First Bite in 1979. As I recall their chili dogs were very good. Tasty Freeze was also just down the street and was a usual stop afterward.

rivest266
rivest266 on January 7, 2011 at 5:26 pm

Aerial photo at View link
You can also see the Glendale 9 DI on the upper right of the picture.

rgbynet
rgbynet on July 24, 2012 at 9:47 am

While in the U.S. Air Force and stationed at Luke AFB in Glendale, Arizona between 1966 and 1969, I worked for awhile part-time at this theater in it’s snack bar. It was enjoyable. The staff was great. We worked hard but had many laughs at night’s end. I became life-long friends with it’s manager of eighteen years whose name is Dick Ahlbrandt. Dick worked for his company for an entire career of nearly forty years and was especially fond of the Thunderbird.

After the Thunderbird, my friend opened a brand-new “four-plex” in Mesa for the company and finished his working life after opening a brand new super-plex for them there. The guy, to this day, is an avid industry observer. We speak almost daily about films. Neither one of us seem to be able to get “the movies” out of our blood.

Yeah, the Thunderbird Drive-in holds fond memories for many of us!

Drive-In 54
Drive-In 54 on July 24, 2012 at 11:03 am

Goggle Earth 2011 One drive-in closes and another opens across the street.

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