Rocket Drive-In

4001 N. Chadbourne Street,
San Angelo, TX 76903

400 cars

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Rocket Drive-In

The Rocket Drive-In opened prior to 1955. Car capacity was listed at 400. It was initially operated by Rowley United Theatres until 1967, United Artists took over in 1967 and operated the drive-in until it closed in 1975.

There is now a Cowboy Church where the entrance once was but behind the church you can still the remnants of the old drive-in. Any further information on the Rocket Drive-In would be appreciated.

Contributed by Chuck

Recent comments (view all 6 comments)

Don Lewis
Don Lewis on September 25, 2010 at 10:03 am

From San Angelo’s Rocket Drive In an ad from 1960 for a Gary Cooper movie.

sharlee420 on February 2, 2013 at 1:29 am

My grandfather said that a tornado took it down. 1953. My grandfather also said that he has speakers from that drive in sitting on the post outside his house. He brought them home to fix them, but he forgot about them and they have been there since. I asked him about this theater, but that is all the info he remembers so far. He worked for R&R, and he said it became Concho theaters before it was Rowley United. Any info on that?

dblumentr on November 16, 2014 at 1:02 pm

It was rebuilt after the Lake View tornado. We lived near the theater and my Dad had a morning radio program in the radio station in front on North Chadbourne. Saw my first movie here when I was 5, December 1963. My aunt took my brother and I to a double feature and we stayed for the first one, The Sword in the Stone.

MichaelKilgore on March 27, 2019 at 3:05 pm

According to San Angelo Standard-Times columnist Rick Smith, writing in 2009, the Rocket was built in 1948, “was destroyed by the 1953 tornado” but rebuilt, then closed “about 1970 and burned in 1973.”

MichaelKilgore on March 28, 2019 at 1:13 pm

In a remarkable coincidence, Alana Edgin of the San Angelo Standard-Times wrote an update just yesterday. Edgin wrote that the Rocket was built in 1952, but it’s even more complicated.

“This drive-in actually existed twice. The first time was on US Highway 87 N. from 1952-1954. It was decimated by the Lake View tornado on 1953 … then at 4001 N. Chadbourne St., was destroyed (by fire) in September 1973”.

MichaelKilgore on November 10, 2019 at 11:10 pm

More hints from the June 5, 1954 issue of Billboard: “Rocket Drive-In, San Angelo, Tex., which was extensively damaged by high winds for the second time this year, is being remodeled and will be equipped to show CinemaScope, according to John D. Jones.”

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