Motorena Drive-In

2840 11th Avenue,
Greeley, CO 80620

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Motorena Drive-In

The Motorena Drive-In opened on August 21, 1948 with Betty Grable in “Mother Wore Tights” & Roy Acuff in “Night Train to Memphis”. Playground in front of the screens. Spent 3+ years there, our dad ran the projectors, mom ran concessions, and us kids picked up the litter the next morning. It was closed by Gibralter Enterprises in June 1956. It was reopened by new operators later that year and was still open in 1967.

Contributed by Jim

Recent comments (view all 8 comments)

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on February 26, 2011 at 3:17 pm

Jim, as you well know it parked 350 cars and in 1956 was owned by Colo.Theatre Corp. by Paul Rothman and Lem Lee.

Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois
Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois on March 2, 2011 at 8:16 am

Open ~1950-~1975? Can anyone verify the exact dates?

Open for sure in 1967.

More info and photos always welcome.

rivest266
rivest266 on August 18, 2011 at 6:49 am

The photo that I uploaded is dated 1949. The drive-in looks brand new and maybe not finished when it was taken.

jwmovies
jwmovies on October 27, 2012 at 11:49 pm

Approx. address for this drive-in was 2840 11th Avenue.

MichaelKilgore
MichaelKilgore on May 28, 2019 at 6:35 am

From the July 7, 1956 Motion Picture Herald:

Gibralter Enterprises has closed the Rex, Casper, Wyo., the Motorena drive-in, Greeley, Colo., and has placed the Grove, Gering, Neb., on one change a week – weekends.

MichaelKilgore
MichaelKilgore on June 11, 2019 at 7:24 pm

A 1948 aerial photo showed the Motorena looking active.

The drive-in still looked good in the 1969 aerial I uploaded. Topo maps for 1970-83 still included the drive-in. By the 1999 aerial, it was long gone. The Motorena’s final appearance in the Motion Picture Almanac Drive-In list was the 1976 edition.

MichaelKilgore
MichaelKilgore on February 6, 2020 at 1:29 pm

The Motorena held its grand opening on Sat., Aug. 21, 1948, based on ads in the Greeley Daily Tribune. Its opening program was “Mother Wore Tights,” “Night Train to Memphis,” and a Tom and Jerry cartoon.

davidcoppock
davidcoppock on February 6, 2020 at 11:11 pm

Theres an ad in the photo section that says the grand opening was on 3/3/1950 with “My friend Irma” and “Trouble makers”.

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