Tinker Drive-In

2301 N. Air Depot Boulevard,
Midwest City, OK 73110

Unfavorite 1 person favorited this theater

| Street View

Opened in August 1948, this was amoung the first drive-in theatres in the Oklahoma City metroplex. Everything within the compound was designed in a qausi-Aircraft Style, nicely landscaped.

Today no trace of this former outdoor theatre remains.

Please jot down anything you may know about the Tinker Drive-In.

Contributed by Jeff Chapman

Recent comments (view all 4 comments)

raybradley
raybradley on June 12, 2009 at 11:16 am

On this site type in word “Tinker” to see a vintage 1949 photo of this drive-in.
View link

NYozoner
NYozoner on January 19, 2011 at 10:00 pm

This is a comment given on Facebook for the drive-ins of Midwest City;

“In the 1950s MWC had two outdoor drive in theaters. The Bomber Drive In at the SW corner of Douglass & 15th Street & The Tinker Drive In West side of Air Depot at Adair Blvd.Both Theaters were busy on weekends.”

Using that information, the correct address for the Tinker Drive-in should be:

S Air Depot Blvd & Adair Blvd, Midwest City, OK 73110

Here is a 1954 aerial photo of the drive-in, courtesy of Earth Explorer and USGS:

http://flic.kr/p/9bG6P5

NYozoner
NYozoner on January 19, 2011 at 10:07 pm

The address “2301 N. Air Depot Boulevard, Midwest City, OK” was way off, and there were no drive-ins on or near N. Air Depot Rd, according to 1954 aerial photos.

The S. Airport Rd address puts the drive-in just a few blocks away from Tinker AFB Airport, and there just happens to be a drive-in visible there in the 1954 aerial photo.

“2301 N. Air Depot Boulevard” might have been valid in 1950, but is does not map anywhere near the correct location today.

whorton
whorton on July 13, 2012 at 4:30 pm

Actually, the reason the address was off was becasue Midwest city at one point renumbered the street addresses…

From the AIDA database:

Tinker Drive-in (ad)

Opened 10 Aug 1948

Closed 1961 Did not reopen for the 1962 season

Location 2301 S. Air Depot Blvd. Site currently occupied by Texaco Starmart.

Location: N 35° 26.51', W97° 24.43'

1948, Aug 7 Theatre to open

1948-49 Theatre Catalog lists as under construction

1949-1950 Theatre Catalog lists RL Barton as owner M9-C500-D7

1955 Theatre Catalog lists RL Barton as Exec C450

1955 Theatre Catalog lists address as 500 N. Air Depot

1965 IMPA lists owner as RL Barton

1965 IMPA lists capacity as 450

Interesting aside here. This theatre is one of the main things that got my interest started in Drive-in Theatre history. Although it closed at the end of the 61 season, by the late 60’s houses had been built to the south of the then abandoned drive in. Sometime in the ensuing years, there was a fire which destroyed the concession stand and projection booth. My cousin lived in one of the houses built to the south of the drive in.

We used to play and later ride motorcycles in the empty field. The screen tower was still standing and had been incorporated into a auto body shop. During the early summer evenings, the workers at the body shop would play their radio loud enough to be heard. It was like the swan song of the now dead drive in.

All these things together caused me to look into what happened to the drive in years later and develop the basics of drive in research.

Wesley Horton AIDA

You must login before making a comment.

New Comment

Subscribe Want to be emailed when a new comment is posted about this theater?
Just login to your account and subscribe to this theater