Winkler Drive-In

205 Winkler Drive,
Houston, TX 77087

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Submitted by Chet Cuccia courtesy of Bob Machann

The Winkler Drive-In opened at 6:30 p.m. on March 21, 1947. The premier feature was “Three Little Girls in Blue” with Vivian Blaine and June Haver. It was operated by Underwood & Ezell.

Contributed by Bob Machann

Recent comments (view all 7 comments)

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on November 14, 2009 at 1:25 pm

IN the late 50’s THE WINKLER DRIVE IN parked 400 cars and was owned by C.C. Ezell. A man that owned quite a few Drive ins in that Texas City.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on November 24, 2009 at 6:50 pm

Here is a 1964 aerial photo. By 1973 the drive-in was gone and the land redeveloped.
http://tinyurl.com/ycjluoh

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 19, 2009 at 12:49 am

The Winkler Drive-In was designed by architect Jack Corgan, according to Boxoffice of April 5, 1947. It was the ninth Texas drive-in in the Underwood and Ezell chain.

David415
David415 on June 23, 2011 at 12:44 pm

I worked at the Winkler Drive Inn 1966. I worked Concession and repaired the speakers at the theatre. I was 14 years old.I remembered when they closed it down and turned it into a car lot.I lived right across the street at the Winkler Dr. Apartments.After concession closed down I set in a truck at the back of the theatre to catch people sneeking through the exit.That was a lot of fun.Beach party movies were a hit then.Elvis movies were a real big hit then.This was my first real job growning up.

MichaelKilgore
MichaelKilgore on July 18, 2019 at 1:00 pm

Here’s the full note that Joe Vogel found:

“OPEN NEW DRIVE-IN — Underwood and Ezell have opened their new Winkler drive-in, located on the Houston thoroughfare of that name where it intersects with Telephone road. It is their ninth such plant in the state. The Winkler was designed by Jack Corgan, Dallas architect; will park 450 cars on ramps that have been paved to keep down the dust. In-car speakers, a play park for children and lawn seats for those without cars are features. Bill Sargent is manager, having been transferred from the Circle at Waco.”

MichaelKilgore
MichaelKilgore on July 18, 2019 at 1:37 pm

A few more details in the April 19, 1947 issue of BoxOffice:

Winkler Drive-In: Opened March 21 and has a capacity for 600 cars. It is the family type theatre and shows two shows nightly with a Saturday midnighter. W. C. Underwood and C. C. Ezell owners of the South Main Drive-In and also of a string in Texas, built the Winkler. Maurice Rogillio is operator and Bill Sargent its manager. The opening picture was “Three Little Girls in Blue.” Each car has its own speaker. A nursery is in operation and there is a playground for the children. There are also concessions.

MichaelKilgore
MichaelKilgore on November 14, 2019 at 2:53 pm

Billboard, Sept. 4, 1954: “A 10 horsepower mechanical elephant was shipped to Houston from Essex, England, and assembled at the Winkler Drive-In. Free rides to children was offered in connection with the picture, ‘The Elephant Walk.’”

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