King's Drive-In

1940 N. 14th Street,
Kingsville, TX 78363

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Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on May 10, 2011 at 2:44 pm

According to my 1956 Almanac you are right on with your car capacity,Yakima!

Yakima1
Yakima1 on November 1, 2010 at 9:16 pm

One needs to be careful about judging the car capacity from press releases. They seem to always overstate the car capcity or size…..perhaps to gain an edge with the movie bookers representing them in Dallas, or maybe just to sound more impressive to the public. The Motion Picture Almanacs and the International Motion Picture Almanacs of the time consistently ranked the Kingsville drive-ins as:
King’s – 300
Rancho – 300
Brahma – 250
HiWay – 250 or 300
I’m not saying that was the gospel, but the press numbers are usually considerably higher than other sources.

Yakima1
Yakima1 on October 31, 2010 at 12:12 pm

As I commented above, the exact opening date was June 23, 1949. Here is some evidnece I have researched myself. This is part of a larger work that is very much a “work-in-progress”. I added some details to the King’s Drive-in section for the sake of posting this now. Other drive-ins are incomplete.

View link

Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois
Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois on October 31, 2010 at 8:15 am

Open ~1950-~1980? Care to verify the exact dates?

Open for sure in 1967.

Owned by Texas Cinema Corporation 1975-1980.

Need more info and photos.

matt54
matt54 on October 17, 2010 at 11:12 pm

Thanks for all your good hard work, Yakima! You have really added a great deal to this wonderful resource!

Yakima1
Yakima1 on October 17, 2010 at 10:55 pm

I am working on the photo links. Thanks.

matt54
matt54 on October 15, 2010 at 10:36 pm

Yakima, can you post those pictures?

So it seems that postcard shot, reputed to be the Hi-Way, is actually taken from the north looking back toward the south along 77, toward town? That would explain why the highway curves to the left in the shot, with the screen tower on the left side of the highway.

Yakima1
Yakima1 on October 12, 2010 at 8:06 am

The King’s Drive-in celebrated it’s grand opening on Thursday June 23, 1949 with it’s first feature “June Bride” starring Bette Davis. Joseph and Kyle ran a “name the drive-in” contest in The Kingsville Record on April 27, 1949. The winning suggestion received a one year pass, the next top ten suggestions received one month passes.

This was the second of four drive-ins in Kingsville.

I took photos of the rotting concession stand / projection booth on October 9, 2010. The much circulated postcard photo of the drive-in and Sage Motel at the entrance to Kingsville is in fact The King’s drive-in, not The Hiway drive-in as often misrepresented.

matt54
matt54 on October 11, 2010 at 9:06 pm

“The King was on North 77 (14th Street), near where it joined 6th Street and went on to Bishop. It was next to the old Wilcox Furniture and the Bowling Alley (later the Crimson Palace)and St. Martin’s KC Hall.”

“The King was a regular family outing growing up – can remember getting my dad to drive me and my buddies there to see "Woodstock” (old enough to rock, too young to drive – legally) and cringing at sitting next to my dad when Country Joe yelled “Gimme an F!”

  • From posts made October 5 & 7, 2010 by RWolfe on the Carpo Teatro (Kingsville) page.
Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on October 11, 2010 at 5:49 pm

Yes,another Joseph and Kyle operation.