Acres Drive-In

3720 W. Van Buren Street,
Phoenix, AZ 85009

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Undated print ad courtesy of Ted Okuda.

The Acres Drive-In was opened April 11, 1952. Now a trailer park.

Was mentioned in the documentary "Drive-In Movie Memories" in 2001.

Contributed by Dave Bonan

Recent comments (view all 10 comments)

DavidZornig on December 21, 2008 at 8:25 pm

Wow. This place was actually pointed out to me when I was in Phoenix a few years back. The car rental place was 4 blocks from here on Van Buren. I got the mini-tour by the courtesy driver who picked me up at the airport.

Phoenix had an insane 28 percent tax on all cars rented “AT” the airport. So we always rented from a outfit several miles outside the airport property. Literally saving hundreds.

The driver drove us past the trailer park and indicated it was previously a drive-in. As well as the apparent colorful past of the rest of Van Buren Street. Once ripe with run down motels, and apparently no shortage of working girls to fill them.
I can only assume this illicit activity helped hasten the end of the Acres Drive-In as well.

There were also many `50’s looking roadside buildings along Van Buren as well. Steak & Egger restaurant, public pools, etc.
It was attempting a resurgence of sorts with newer motels and the like last I was there. Trying to erase the once seedy image of the area.

One of the major concert venues of today is not far from the former Acres site. Might be the Dodge, but if not, it’s the other one.

rivest266 on January 8, 2011 at 9:37 am

Aerial photos starting in 1958 at
View link
You can see two screens in it. the one in the back is the Peso Drive-In, which shown Spanish movies.

movietreasuer75 on July 14, 2012 at 6:50 am

Actually, the drive in is now an industrial park. I grew up right down the street and can remember watching movies on the roof of our house as a kid.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 11, 2013 at 6:33 pm

This derive-in was set to open shortly, according to Boxoffice of January 6, 1951. However, records of a court case involving Michael A. Parker, developer of the project, and one of the contractors, suggest that there might have been a delay, but I’ve been unable to discover how long it might have been. The drive-in appears to have been opened before the end of 1951, in any case.

Boxoffice said that the new theater would be Arizona’s largest drive-in, and the first in the state with two screens. It was to be called the Twin Drive-In. CinemaTour gives the Acres Drive-In the aka’s Acres of Fun Drive-In, Peso Drive-In, El Peso Drive-In, and Twin Open Air Drive-In… though why a drive-in’s operator would specify in its name that it was both a drive-in and “open air” I can’t say.

NYozoner on January 11, 2015 at 6:56 pm


Open air theatres are generally walk-ins. They probably were accommodating walk-in patronage as well as people inside vehicles.

rivest266 on November 14, 2015 at 2:46 pm

April 11th, 1952 grand opening ad as Acres Drive-In

rivest266 on November 14, 2015 at 2:47 pm

18 de julio 1952 gran anuncio de apertura como Peso Drive-In

rangerxlt on January 12, 2016 at 1:35 pm

I too watched movies from the roof of the home I grew up in. Phoenix was a great place to live in the 70’s. My friends and I also would sneak into Acres Drive-in through a opening we made in the fence. We would sit next to cars parked for the movie and enjoyed the show.I remember watching The Posieden Adventure Whiteline Fever just to name a few. During the summer break we would actually climb up into the movie screen to the top and catch pigeons. Very dangerous it had to be over 100 feet high. But when your a kid it was an adventure. I also remembering eating popcorn the snack bar would put out after the shows. We had a blast.. Good Times….Larry AKA Bighead in 1974

Shawn_B on August 11, 2017 at 9:21 pm

The Acres/Peso Drive-ins were on that industrial park. I believe the screens for both were in the middle, back to back. The Reynolds Aluminum plant was across the street.

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