Bell Drive-In

2202 Main Avenue,
Durango, CO 81301

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Bell Drive-In

The Basin Drive-In was opened on June 23, 1950 with Mark Stevens in “Oh, You Beautiful Doll”. It was operated by T.R. Knox. By 1955 he had renamed it Knox Drive-In. It was still open in 1957. In 1959 it was renamed Bell Drive-In and was owned by John Wade in the early-1960’s. Capacity was 350 cars. The Bell Drive-In was closed in 1977.

Contributed by Ken McIntyre

Recent comments (view all 10 comments)

cc44
cc44 on December 21, 2013 at 4:42 pm

The Bell opened in 1960.

Kenmore
Kenmore on December 11, 2014 at 2:36 pm

Found it. Just south of 2390 Main Ave. according to the 1971 Topography Map. No trace of the drive-in left as the property is now a baseball field and sports complex. Interestingly enough, the locations of both the Rocket & Bell drive-ins were next to running tracks. https://goo.gl/maps/LLGq1

Edie Barry
Edie Barry on July 10, 2017 at 3:10 am

I’ve been told stories about the Bell Drive-In. People snacked from nearby apple trees and alcoholic drinks were served. Hot toddies were popular. I’m sad I missed it. 🍹🍸

Edie Barry
Edie Barry on January 14, 2018 at 4:50 am

While in business, the Rocket Drive-In wasn’t near a running track. That happened when a new school was built and when The Rocket was closing. When The Bell was open, it was next to a horse track though. The La Plata County Fairgrounds. And the building seen in the photo, is also a new high school which opened in 1977.

ShanWells
ShanWells on February 20, 2018 at 8:29 am

Bell Drive-In was open in 1959, according to a date on post card I have showing the site, but it may be under construction. Probably a lot of Fort Lewis College students frequented, as the school opened in Durango in 1956.

ShanWells
ShanWells on February 20, 2018 at 8:56 am

I think the date is definitely wrong. Looks like it was open circa 1950 and possibly before that.

Drive-In 54
Drive-In 54 on February 20, 2018 at 4:23 pm

Address is: 2202 Main Ave Durango, CO 81301

MichaelKilgore
MichaelKilgore on August 12, 2019 at 12:43 pm

“John Wallace has taken over operation of the Belle Drive-In at Durango from former owner Ted Knox”. — Boxoffice, April 11, 1960

MichaelKilgore
MichaelKilgore on August 25, 2019 at 8:23 pm

The 1952 Theatre Catalog included the Basin Drive-In, capacity 340, owner T. R. Knox. For the 1955-56 edition, it had changed to the Knox.

The Basin’s first appearance in the Motion Picture Almanac series was the 1951-52 edition, capacity 350, owner Knox-Trosper Invest Co. That continued until 1955, when it changed to the Knox. By 1959, the Knox’s owner had changed to Knox Theatres. In 1960-61, the drive-in changed to the Bell, capacity 350, owned by Tom Wade. In 1962-66, the owner changed to John A. Wade. The Bell continued in the IMPA through 1976 (a period when the directory noticed few changes), then fell off the list in 1977.

MichaelKilgore
MichaelKilgore on June 30, 2020 at 5:38 pm

In the May 2018 issue of History La Plata, Charles DiFerdinando wrote, “The Basin Drive-In Theatre opened at 2300 Main Street on June 23, 1950 with the feature film, "Oh, You Beautiful Doll”.

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