Lone Star Drive-In

4600 Lawnview Avenue,
Dallas, TX 75227

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Lone Star Drive-In

The Lone Star Drive-In was opened November 3, 1951 with James Stewart in “Broken Arrow”. This became an adult drive-in in 1966 and it was closed by the city on December 18, 1987.

Contributed by Michael

Recent comments (view all 9 comments)

Don Lewis
Don Lewis on May 23, 2010 at 10:54 am

From 1963 a Dallas Area drive in theater ad.

matt54
matt54 on May 27, 2010 at 9:40 am

In the 70’s, when this drive-in had switched to showing skin-flicks, I seem to recall some major traffic jams due to accidents on R.L. Thornton Expwy caused (so it was said) by drivers paying too much attention to what was on the screen and not what was on the road!

Driveintheatre2001
Driveintheatre2001 on August 2, 2011 at 3:32 pm

IF the screen could be seen from I-30, then that was when it was a pretty new Drive In as the Trees are thick in that area now. Especially in the late 70’s, early 80’s, I seem to remember alot of trees in that area. Now the Linda Kay, you could see from Hwy 175! LoL. I remember that too! The Lone Star Drive In is another Drive In site that eventually DISD bought the land.. also, Drive In land bought by DISD was the Jefferson & the Casa View Drive In..

matt54
matt54 on August 18, 2011 at 11:01 am

I’d say those memories of mine are from the late 60’s – mid-70’s, Randy. I remember being able to see the screen from R.L. Thornton, with little-to-no bushes or trees to obscure the view, but at that distance it wasn’t crystal clear. I figuew you had to know what you were looking for (I did)! As you note, Linda Kay was a completely different story – VERY clear!

dallasmovietheaters
dallasmovietheaters on November 24, 2013 at 5:45 am

If the trivia question were to be asked, “What Dallas drive-in theater had the longest run?” the documentable answer is none other than the Lone Star. The Lone Star Drive-In Theaters circuit run by E.L. Pack had opened Lone Star named drive-ins in El Paso, Houston, Lubbock and Waco before opening the 650-car Lone Star Drive-In at 5506 Military Parkway (though advertised as 5500 Military) in Dallas on November 3, 1951. Fireworks opened the evening followed by the main feature of “Broken Arrow.” On March 23, 1961, the Lone Star’s address was 4600 Lawnview Avenue where it was advertised until its closure.

The Lone Star’s traditional fare gravitated to adult content in 1966 where it continued successfully for more than twenty years into the home video revolution. Locals often referred to the operation as “The Porn Star.” Totally lacking in marketing, nostalgia or publicity, the Lone Star and Linda Kay were the final two adult drive-ins in Dallas into the mid-1980s with the higher-visibility Astro as the last remaining traditional ozoner in the city. The L-K went down in 1986. And the end of the line was coming for the Lone Star but it was the city that was calling and not necessarily lack of patrons.

In November of 1987, the city of Dallas filed suit seeking a temporary injunction against the Lone Star because its sexually-oriented business license expired. The operator said that it had applied for a renewal. A December 18th hearing took place and that appears to be the end the drive-in’s run. At just past 36 years of operation, the Lone Star was Dallas' winner for longest-running drive-in theater. The Astro was the last drive-in to be in operation in Dallas surviving 30 years to 1998. And arguably the Jefferson was the last standing drive-in tower torn down in 2004 after years of inactivity with the Lone Star and its brethren demolished much earlier.

Drive-In 54
Drive-In 54 on November 24, 2013 at 9:04 am

Hey dallas..Thanks for doing good historical overviews of the TX drive-ins.

Normadavis
Normadavis on September 7, 2014 at 7:12 pm

Historical aerials from 1952, show an abundance of mature trees in the line of site from Samuel Blvd.or R.L. Thornton, that would prevent a visual of the screen, but that being said, only ¼ – 1/3 of the trees were evergreens, meaning that the decidious trees would offer a good visual line of site during the late fall through spring.

JTL
JTL on February 15, 2018 at 3:14 am

I grew up in that neighborhood and it is completely untrue that you could see it from I-30. There would be cars parked along Lawnview that the police would occasionally run off on their rounds. There was a trailer park right behind it and we would sneak out at night to climb up on the roof of an empty trailer and get an “education”.

MountainLyon
MountainLyon on May 13, 2018 at 9:21 am

Greetings,

I’m really happy to have come across this site, as I’m writing a memoir about my life, and wanted some information about this drive-in.

From January of ‘88 to July of '88, I lived in a halfway house called Cassidy Place that was located on Samuell Blvd. In the map photo above, it was located north of Samuell at the 'Y’ shaped street across (north) from Grove Hill Rd. (Looks like they are apartments or townhomes now.) Many of us kids used to walk across Samuell and sit in the back corner of the graveyard at night and watch the movies from a distance. If I recall, there were occasional skin flicks, but our long running favorite was watching The Shining, which seemed to show with quite a bit of frequency.

Sounds very likely it was this drive-in. Oh, and there is likely no way this could be seen from I-30. Our halfway house say right at the fenced edge of I-30. We had to walk up a hill to get to Samuell, meaning that the theater was well above I-30, over a quarter of a mile away from the interstate, and buried in dense oak trees, and then slightly below the interstate… meaning a gentle hill covered in trees was between the highway and the theater.

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