Oak Hills Drive-In

Crestview Drive and Alton Way,
Salt Lake City, UT 84108

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Oak Hills Drive-In

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The Oak Hills Drive-In opened in 1951 with a car capacity listed at 400. The drive-in was located just southeast of the Hogle Zoo.

One feature of the drive-in was that residents just south of the drive-in could pay $50.00 for an installation fee for a speaker set up in their home and view the movies from their home. The theatre was owned by Fox Intermountain Theatres.

When the Oak Hills Drive-In closed in 1965 they built the Olympus Drive-In at 5600 South 900 East. The Oak Hills Drive-In was demolished in 1965 for a new subdivision.

Contributed by Chuck

Recent comments (view all 13 comments)

bbowles84010 on December 6, 2013 at 5:56 pm

I am writing to correct your information This is not a theater called the Oak Hills theater. The photo was taken at the Romantic Motor-Vue theater on 3300 east and 3300 south (a Smith’s Marketplace is now in that location —– park in the parking lot & you can see a similar view to this 1958 view). The Motor-Vue theater was built by Eric and Thelma Peterson right after World War II. They sold it in 1960. We have the original letter from Life Magazine and other memorabilia from that theatre, including the furniture that furnished the Peterson’s home which was underneath the screen tower. You can see the lights of their home in the photo above. We also have photos inside their below-the-screen home that appeared in Redbook magazine.

NYozoner on December 27, 2016 at 11:56 pm

The address in the heading is invalid.

The correct address is:

Crestview Drive at Alton Way
Salt Lake City, UT 84108

This address fits with the description of “located just southeast of the Hogle Zoo” and is visible on the Historic Aerials website using 1958 and 1965 imagery.

DavidZornig on January 12, 2017 at 2:09 pm

This 2008 article confirms the existence of the Romantic Motor View, as well as many others in Utah listed.


cscottpatterson on January 15, 2017 at 7:02 pm

Please see the ad in photos from the July 15, 1958 Salt Lake Tribune.

cscottpatterson on January 15, 2017 at 7:17 pm

The Oak Hills was a separate theater from the Motor Vu. I spent a lot of time at both. Both were on the east bench of Salt Lake City and faced west toward the Great Salt Lake. The empty space behind the screen in the photo is Bonneville Golf Course, still there today, and the location relative to other landmarks in the valley confirms that that the LIFE photo is definitely the Oak Hills Drive-in. The add from the July 15, 1958 Salt Lake Tribune, posted in photos, also confirms that. Actually, the Romantic Motor Vu was a pretty cool place for a little kid because they had a small zoo.

bbowles84010 on January 15, 2017 at 7:56 pm

The Motor-Vu was built by and owned by my wife’s grandparents. This Life Magazine photo (part of the life in America photo series) was taken at the Motor-Vu. Her grandparents saved the photographer’s letter thanking them for their gracious welcome and for helping him with his photo. They saved the letter along with the photo. We have that letter and photo along with Redbook magazine photos taken in their home that was underneath the screen tower, various telegrams, and other memorabilia. This photo was definitely taken at the Motor-Vu.

cscottpatterson on May 2, 2017 at 2:55 pm

Very interesting. I have two photography books, one published by Life Magazine, that label the photo as Oak Hills, Utah, as if Oak Hills was a city, and the year 1958. If you look to the west, you will see the Kennecott smokestacks more to the south which would be the right angle if you were at the Oak Hills Drive. The advertisement confirms that the movie was playing at the Oak Hills when Life says the photo was taken. I do remember seeing the Ten Commandments at the Motor Vu and I’m almost sure it was in 1956. My father was bored to death. I’m not sure any of this matters. I spent a lot of very good hours at both theaters.

cscottpatterson on May 2, 2017 at 7:10 pm

The link to the LIFE Facebook page and their description of the photo. It appears that they are giving out confliction information.

https://business.facebook.com/LIFE/photos/a.167411356599. 121049.39308306599/10154994173386600/?type=3&theater

Charlton Heston as Moses in “The Ten Commandments,” at a drive-in theater in Oak Hills, Utah, 1958. (J.R. Eyerman—The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images) #1950s #Utah #TBT

cscottpatterson on May 7, 2017 at 5:14 pm

While in Jr. high school, a friend had one of those speakers at his home. We would sit on his balcony and watch movies. It was a novel experience, but the features didn’t change often enough even in those days for middle school kids. The last movie I saw at the Oak Hills was “The Carpetbaggers”. Correction to the earlier post: conflicting not confliction.

NeonMichael on June 8, 2017 at 1:09 am

Google Books has that issue of Life, Dec. 22 1958, available for viewing. https://books.google.com/books?id=Yj8EAAAAMBAJ&lpg=PA4&dq=Eyerman&pg=PA17#v=onepage&q=Eyerman&f=true

The caption reads “At Oak Hills near Salt Lake City, as jets etch the evening sky, Moses in The Ten Commandments casts his biblical wrath down at the parked cars.” Yes, jets. As originally printed in that two page spread, jet trails were clearly visible above the left mountain peaks.

Trick question: What movie was playing when the photo was taken? As I guessed in 2013, it was not The Ten Commandments. Think about it – it’s barely dark enough to see a movie, but we’re already at the Red Sea scene?

In a sidebar from the Salt Lake Tribune, it revealed that the photographer “lured dozens of local college students to the showing of the 1956 film ‘… And God Created Woman’ featuring Brigitte Bardot, said his daughter Kathryn Marshall.” Then he swapped in that Heston frame.

So if you want to prove where it was taken, find the newspaper ad for that movie, not The Ten Commandments.

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