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. By 1954 it also included the Peso Drive-In and had a combined car capacity for 800. It was operated by the Harry L. Nace Theatres chain. In 1955 only the ‘North Screen’ (Peso Drive-In) with a capacity for 400 cars was operating, and it was still open in 1957. On September 1, 1960 the screen was blown down. The drive-in was closed until 1962 when it reopened with a new screen. It was still open in 1975. Now a trailer park.

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

Contributed by Dave Bonan

Recent comments (view all 13 comments)

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.

MichaelKilgore on October 1, 2019 at 9:32 am

April 26, 1952 Boxoffice: “PHOENIX – The Twin Screen Drive-In, which closed early last January, has been reopened by Fred Crockett and Harry L. Nace as the Acres of Fun. Only one screen is being utilized, reducing the capacity of the airer, formerly a McCormack-Nace enterprise, to around 625 cars. The duel screen outdoorer was the largest drive-in in the state under its original operation. The current manager is Otto Silvester.”

50sSNIPES on January 22, 2020 at 11:57 am

UPDATE: After The Screen Was Blown Down In September 1st, 1960; The Screen Was Rebuilt And Opened It A Couple Of Years Later. The Acres Drive-In Was Still In Operation Since 1975 As Southwest’s Acres Drive-In.

davidcoppock on April 27, 2020 at 12:25 pm

Opened with 2 colour cartoons(not named). “Red skies of Montana” and “Cave of outlaws”.

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