Northwest Highway Drive-In

6729 W. Northwest Highway,
Dallas, TX 75225

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Showing 23 comments

rivest266
rivest266 on October 23, 2013 at 3:15 pm

LarryFM. Signup with Genealogybank.com. They have the Morning News online along with other titles.

I uploaded the grand opening ad here.

LarryFM
LarryFM on June 15, 2011 at 8:19 pm

I did a Google search for it, David. I believe the Dallas Morning News has an online archive, but it would be restricted to viewing exclusively from a public or college library, and I wouldn’t know if it would consist of only text or the actual paper. Also, there would probably be a subscription fee involved if it was accessible from a private PC. In doing research on the drive-in theatres of Fort Worth, I’ve come to discover that the Star-Telegram’s complete archive is availble only at the Central Library downtown, so maybe a trip to Dallas’s downtown library will yield some “treasure” for you!

David_Burgess@att.net
David_Burgess@att.net on June 15, 2011 at 6:26 am

Larry; the time frame would have been Gigantis, then, in 1959; we didn’t move in that house until 1958, and in 1956, I would have only been one year old for most of the year. It either was Gigantis, or a re-run of Godzilla. Did you search just IMDB or do you have access to the Dallas Morning News archives online and looked up the movie listings?

LarryFM
LarryFM on June 11, 2011 at 7:55 pm

Thank you very much for your story, David, and for confirming the appearance of the clown’s head on the screen tower. In doing some quick Googling, you either saw ‘Godzilla, King of the Monsters!’, which was released in 1956, or ‘Gigantis, the Fire Monster’, which was released in 1959. I highly recommend a trip to the Dallas Public Library in downtown, as you’ll find some fascinating movie ads and drive-in theatres now long gone. Good luck on your search, and please let us know what you find out!

David_Burgess@att.net
David_Burgess@att.net on June 11, 2011 at 10:44 am

If we change the status to demolished, would it get rid of the google street view of that address? I think showing where it was in relation to what’s there now has some value.

David_Burgess@att.net
David_Burgess@att.net on June 11, 2011 at 10:42 am

I have to tell a funny story on myself. When I was about 5, I was in our back yard looking south; I could have sworn I saw what looked like Godzilla storming the country side on the southern horizon. I told my parents about it, but they just dismissed it as a kid’s imagination. Over the years and decades I thought back on to that and wondered if I, as a kid, was just hallucinating. Many decades later, in the late 1990’s, I ran into some of the “greatest generation” folks who still lived on Prestonshire Ln, and we talked about the old days of that neighborhood. They told me they remembered how far they could see because there were practically no tall trees in the 50s, and that they could easily see the movies on the screen of that drive-in on Northwest Highway.

Then it hit me. It’s likely that what I had seen was an actual Godzilla movie being shown on that movie screen. Being just around 5 years old or so, I just interpreted it as the real deal. I guess I’ll have to go to the library in downtown Dallas (a bit of a drive as I now live in McKinney) to peruse the microfiche copies of old Dallas movie ads to see if/when Godzilla played there around that time.

David_Burgess@att.net
David_Burgess@att.net on June 11, 2011 at 10:17 am

I wish there was a picture of the screen online. I remember this well. I grew up in that area and I was born in 1954. I remember it being torn down and the Kip’s and the shopping strip mall being built there. I too, remember the clown on the front and remember Kip’s with fondness.

matt54
matt54 on December 31, 2010 at 9:01 pm

Status can be changed to “Closed/Demolished” since I can remember many good meals at the Kip’s Big Boy built on the site as soon as the drive-in was torn down in the early 60’s.

matt54
matt54 on September 14, 2010 at 5:32 pm

Larry, if memory serves, the NW Hwy did have a clown mural, along the same lines as the Chalk Hill and Buckner Blvd., at the time of its closing. It was different from the Buckner’s empty-eyed freak clown, though, in that it did not give me chills up and down my spine.

LarryFM
LarryFM on August 14, 2010 at 11:58 am

Matt54, from what I’ve seen at Historic Aerials, it looks like the Northwest Highway’s sister theatre, the Bowie Boulevard Drive-In in Fort Worth, didn’t make the Cinemascope upgrade, either, and it closed in 1961. On the other hand, the Chalk Hill (another Underwood & Ezell theatre), did, and survived into the 1970s.

Speaking of these three theatres, I have a question about whether the Northwest Highway featured a mural on it’s screen tower or not. When upgrades were made in 1946, it’s sister theatres, the Chalk Hill and Bowie Boulevard, added murals. The former pictured a circus scene around a large clown’s head, while the latter depicted a cowboy on a bucking bronco. Anyone know about the Northwest Highway, or can recollect any details? Thank you.

DonLewis
DonLewis on May 11, 2010 at 7:34 pm

The street address for the Northwest Highway Drive In was 6729 West Northwest Highway.

matt54
matt54 on April 18, 2010 at 6:08 pm

An aerial shot from 1958 (http://www.historicaerials.com/default.aspx?poi=8237) seems to show a standard-width screen tower, as in pre-1953 days. What might appear to be extensions to the width do not, on second glance, appear to reach the top of the tower. My memory might be correct.

matt54
matt54 on April 18, 2010 at 5:56 pm

I want to say that this theater never installed a cinemascope screen; reason I say this is because we saw How The West Was Won in its suburban run here, which would have been close to the time the drive-in closed. Both ends of the picture were lopped off and we could see only the center. From my mom’s story about that night, most of the other people there would not have noticed, or cared much if they did. Could it be true that this theater went 10 years without installing a wide screen?

LarryFM
LarryFM on October 22, 2009 at 4:11 pm

EXCELLENT documentation, Mike! I look foward to seeing your treatment on the theaters and drive-in theatres of Fort Worth and Tarrant County. Thank you very much for sharing your information.

rivest266
rivest266 on October 21, 2009 at 4:44 pm

LarryFM
My Dallas county document is at http://movie-theatre.org/usa/tx/dallas/dfw.htm Fort Worth and other suburbs coming soon.

LarryFM
LarryFM on October 20, 2009 at 7:14 am

Thank you very much, Mike. I look forward to seeing it.

rivest266
rivest266 on October 20, 2009 at 2:39 am

I have checked the Dallas Morning News online archives year by year 1950-1978 and find that it closed in 1963. I will upload the document in early November for the DFW area to my movie-theatre.org website.

LarryFM
LarryFM on October 19, 2009 at 8:42 am

According to visual evidence from the Historic Aerials website, the Northwest Highway Drive-In was still in existence as late as 1958. By 1972, there was no trace of the theatre left, as it was razed and developed over. Would anyone know when it closed?

LarryFM
LarryFM on October 18, 2009 at 8:01 pm

EUREKA! I found it!

View link

It looks EXACTLY like the Chalk Hill and Fort Worth’s Bowie Boulevard. I wonder if they all shared the same roadside marquee design as well. I’m betting on “yes”.

LarryFM
LarryFM on October 18, 2009 at 6:42 pm

Well done, Mike! I compliment you on your newspaper clip collection. Thank you very much for sharing.

rivest266
rivest266 on October 17, 2009 at 4:04 pm

Grand opening ad is at View link
I Think they both opened on the same day. It was on Northwest and Hillcrest.

LarryFM
LarryFM on May 25, 2009 at 3:02 pm

According to the Don and Susan Sanders book ‘The Great American Drive-In Theatre’, Dallas’s second drive-in, the Chalk Hill, opened on July 4, 1941. It’s possible the Northwest Highway opened earlier in the year. Anyone have more concrete info on this? Thanks!

DonLewis
DonLewis on March 15, 2009 at 6:13 pm

An old movie theater ad from 1949 for the Northwest Highway Drive-In.