Chief Drive-In

5600 N. Lamar Boulevard,
Austin, TX 78751

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Chief Drive-In

The Chief Drive-In was opened in September 19, 1947 by Charles Ezell & Associates. The opening movie was Joel McRea in “The Virginian”. It was Austin’s oldest drive-in. In 1964 the screen was resurfaced and a twin box-office was built, plus a new marquee and remodeled concession area. The Chief Drive-In parked 814 cars and was a Trans-Texas Theatre. It was closed on July 24, 1973 with Charlton Heston in “Soylent Green” & Charlton Heston in “Skyjacked”.

Contributed by MikeRogers

Recent comments (view all 12 comments)

wmarty127 on November 24, 2012 at 12:56 pm

This theater was originally named “Joseph’s Drive-In Theater”. The name was changed in 1947 to “North Austin Drive-In Theater” prior to the opening of the “South Austin Drive-In Theater”.

STATISTICS Opened: 18 November 1940Screens: 1Capacity: 450 cars

wmarty127 on November 24, 2012 at 12:59 pm

Do not know what paper this was published in, but here is an ad of the opening of Chief Drive-In….

Pawnshop on June 27, 2013 at 12:07 pm

The Commerce Park office/retail center is on the site of the former drive in. border streets are: North Lamar, Koenig, Guadalupe and Nelray.

chica on October 22, 2013 at 10:06 pm

I remember this place well. I grew up in the trailer under the movie screen. Lil Toot was always fun to ride. I guess what I remember the most was learning how to ride my bike up and down the rows, and watching the movies from the front of my yard.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on July 30, 2016 at 3:47 pm

A brief article with two photos depicting the recently-opened family dining room and television lounge at the Chief Drive-In appeared in the May 9, 1960, issue of Boxoffice.

rivest266 on March 10, 2018 at 2:29 pm

The Montopolis and Chief drive-in theatres both opened on September 19th, 1947. Grand opening ads below and the photo section.

Chief and Montopolis drive-in theatres openingsChief and Montopolis drive-in theatres openings · Fri, Sep 19, 1947 – 16 · Austin American-Statesman (Austin, Texas) ·

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 10, 2018 at 3:08 pm

This weblog post from Preservation Austin credits architect Jack Corgan with the design of the Chief Drive-In. There’s a nice black and white photo of the screen tower, featuring a Texas longhorn painted by Dallas muralist H. R. McBride.

davidcoppock on March 10, 2018 at 10:37 pm

Whats “Little Toot”?

driveinfan on May 11, 2018 at 7:15 am

Little Toot was the kiddie train at the drive in.

RSM3853 on June 16, 2018 at 3:22 pm

The Chief Drive-In closed after the night’s showings on Tuesday, July 24, 1973. The last films to play there were a double bill of Soylent Green and Skyjacked.

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