Acres Drive-In

3720 W. Van Buren Street,
Phoenix, AZ 85009

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Acres Drive-In

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The Acres Drive-In was opened in 1951. Now a trailer park.

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

Contributed by Dave Bonan

Recent comments (view all 6 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.

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