Buckskin Drive-In

13360 Colorado Highway 172,
Ignacio, CO 81137

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Buckskin Drive-In

The Buckskin Drive-In was located near Ignacio, Colorado and was opened on April 10, 1955 with Elizabeth Taylor in “The Last Time I Saw Paris”. It was a popular venue for local residents and was one of the largest drive-in theatres in Colorado accomodating hundreds of vehicles.

First run films were booked along with cartoons and newsreels, and local commercial business trailers, and showed seven days per week during the peak summer seasons.

The screen was constructed of steel trusses and corrugated aluminum painted with a high reflectance white coating, and permitted showing of CinemaScope Anamorphic wide-screen films. Projection lenses and projectors were designed for long throw projection due to the distance to the screen. Carbon Arc high intensity lamphouses utilized 3/8 inch carbon arc rods with copper coating and large parabolic reflector mirrors.

A large concession stand served popcorn, soft drinks, candy and ice cream.

The owners of the Buckskin Drive-In also owned the Rio Theatre in Meeker, Colorado and traveled to Ignacio to assist the theatre manager during the peak business summer months.

The theatre closed in the late-1960’s'-early-1970’s, partly due to the advent of television via UHF translator signals from nearby Albuquerque, New Mexico

Contributed by robert amick

Recent comments (view all 9 comments)

kencmcintyre on July 16, 2009 at 4:08 pm

Glenn Wittstruck owned the Buckskin in the early 1960s. Capacity at that time was 300 cars.

robert6612 on June 2, 2011 at 8:37 pm

Alice and Garland Smith operated this drive in in the 1960’s. They were my Aunt and Uncle. Used to go over and spend the night with my cousin Casey and we would watch Godzilla movies upstairs from the big picture window.It was a blast .

Kenmore on December 11, 2014 at 2:43 pm

Found it. According to the 1972 Topographical Map, it was located about 2 ½ miles north of the town at 13360 Colorado HWY 172 (Google) on the west side. No trace of the drive-in remains. https://goo.gl/maps/m5SPO

lollysmith on July 14, 2015 at 2:51 pm

Oh WOW, my mom and dad were Garland and Alice Smith. My brothers and I worked along side them for several years. Hi cousin Robert!!

kimmi18 on September 13, 2016 at 11:21 am

Does anyone have a pic of the old Buckskin Drive-in? I am trying to make a gift out of the pic, but haven’t had a bit of luck finding any.. My email is , I would Greatly appreciate it!!

MichaelKilgore on May 21, 2019 at 1:33 pm

From the April 30, 1955 Motion Picture Herald:

Glen Wittstruck has opened his new 300-seater (sic), the Buckskin drive-in, at Ignacio, Colo.

MichaelKilgore on September 5, 2019 at 6:39 pm

The Buckskin’s final appearance in the Motion Picture Almanac series was the 1976 edition, implying that it closed during the 1967-76 decade when the MPA folks didn’t notice many changes.

MichaelKilgore on December 4, 2019 at 7:16 am

After soliciting requests for the types of movies patrons wanted to see, the Buckskin opened on April 10, 1955, showing “The Last Time I Saw Paris.” The screen was 85x40 feet, and the top the screen tower was 63 feet high.

The Ignacio Chieftain wrote, on April 8, 1955, “Following the purchase early last summer of four acres of land north of Ignacio from Rex Richmond by Glen Wittstruck and Hank Lieber of Meeker, the work has gone steadily forward … The Liebers are now living upstairs in the new apartment adjoining the projection room and can incidentally see the pictures from their own living room window, if they ever have time for such leisure.”

MichaelKilgore on January 15, 2020 at 1:06 pm

Boxoffice, March 9, 1957: “Glen Wittstruck has sold the Rio in Meeker, as well as his home there, to Dr. Willis E. Scott, a dentist. … He still owns the Buckskin Drive-In, Ignacio, Colo, which is on the market”

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