183 Drive-In

2014 N. Britain Road,
Irving, TX 75061

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183 Drive-In

Viewing: Photo | Street View

This was located at the north end of Britain Road, where Britain Road ran up against the south service road of Highway 183. The screen was on the south side of Highway 193, and faced south.

The 183 Drive-In was operating by 1955, and it screened “The Great Locomotive Chase” in 1956, and a re-release of “X-15” in 1961, and the 1962 movie “Tales of Terror” in 1964.

The concession stand was a substantial cinder-block structure, which had a seating area, maybe four rows of ten seats, that face the screen through a picture window.

The 183 Drive-In was operating until 1983. The location is now a freight depot for trucks.

Contributed by Michael, Al B. Wesolowsky

Recent comments (view all 9 comments)

jamestv
jamestv on June 6, 2010 at 4:22 pm

This Drive-in was operating into the late ‘70’s with the entryway marquee on Britain Rd still up into the late '80’s-early 90’s. My family saw It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad world there in 1963 and in 1972, I was a relief projectionist for a night and ran the double-bill of Joe Kidd and Play Misty For Me.

greeneye4943
greeneye4943 on July 28, 2010 at 10:41 pm

Theatre closed for good at the end of 1983. Final feature was “Return of the Jedi”.

matt54
matt54 on November 17, 2010 at 1:41 am

Address should be changed, as current map link takes you to the cloverleaf, several blocks to the west of the Britain Road area.

HogGravynChitlins
HogGravynChitlins on January 23, 2011 at 3:33 pm

The film: The Thin Blue Line (1988) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0096257/ makes numerous references to this theatre

Driveintheatre2001
Driveintheatre2001 on April 29, 2012 at 12:13 am

Today it looks like the lot is occupied by Drive Time Used Cars & J R’s Auto Services …. Per Google-maps….

RAC

fullmonty
fullmonty on May 4, 2012 at 7:08 pm

I remember as a young one sitting on the porch of my boys scout hut facing the drive-in screen in early ‘70s. This drive-in taught me about exploitation T & A flicks. The Pam Grier prison flicks. The 'Teachers" and 'Nurses" movies. Oh, how I remember those hot flicks, its weird people seeing mainstream films there. I tear up ever time I drive by the location. What memories!!

jwmovies
jwmovies on August 29, 2012 at 2:04 am

The entrance was just north of 2014 North Britain Road (VIP Finance). Drive time’s actual address is on East Freeway (where the screen was located).

Jim Beaver
Jim Beaver on April 20, 2013 at 1:49 pm

My first job of any kind was in the concession stand at the 183. They were showing THE TRAIN. Worked there for a while before transferring to the Park Plaza Drive-In further west. After work at the 183 some nights, my friends and I would come back and break into the concession stand and sit around eating stale popcorn at one in the morning. Master criminals.

dallasmovietheaters
dallasmovietheaters on December 31, 2013 at 8:41 pm

The venerable 183 Drive In opened in Irivng in 1950 designed by architect Raymond Smith. The 450-car drive-in theater was a rarity lasting almost 35 years just into the home video era. Irving Mayor Hans Smith co-owned the drive-in with W.P. Gandy at its opening. The owners of the Uptown Theater in Grand Prairie, Mr. and Mrs. Leroy Fischer, then bought the 183 Drive-In and the Irving Theater in November 1959. In the 1960s, Jerry A. Meagher’s Meagher Theatres Circuit took on the 183 Drive-In and the Irving Theater, created the Chateau indoor theater, Buena Vista, Park Plaza Drive –In and would take on the unique Texas Stadium Drive-In from McLendon.

The theater may be best known for its role in the 1988 documentary, “The Thin Blue Line” by Errol Morris and real-life trial of Randall Dale Adams. Adams was wrongfully convicted of murdering police office Robert W. Wood and sentenced to die by lethal injection. Adams had gone with another man, David Ray Harris who had stolen the car they were in, to the 183 Drive-In where they watched “The Student Body” and “Swinging Cheerleaders.” The investigation would lead to Harris who – in turn – would pin the murder on his 183 Drive-in partner, Adams. There was no doubting the staying power of the 183 Drive-In which closed in 1984 with almost 35 years of ozone service.

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