Auto Vu Drive-In

5785 County Road G,
Dove Creek, CO 81324

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Auto Vu Drive-In

The Auto Vu Drive-In was opened in late-1955 and closed around 1977.

Contributed by Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

Kenmore
Kenmore on December 11, 2014 at 2:24 pm

Found it. Approximately 3 to 4 miles west of Deer Creek at 5785 County Road G where it intersects with HWY 491 on the SW corner of the intersection. The general outline of the drive-in remains along with the screen foundation. I can’t tell if that is the projection/ticket booth or not, but it is in the right location. https://goo.gl/maps/kfdxM

MichaelKilgore
MichaelKilgore on September 20, 2018 at 1:41 pm

Good eye, Kenmore! Historic Aerials shows that is the projection booth that’s still there. The screen was south of it, about where a cluster of buildings are now.

The Auto Vu wasn’t included in the 1955-56 Theatre Catalog, and its first appearance in the International Motion Picture Almanacs was the 1956 edition, so that’s a decent bet for the starting year. It was listed in their 1956-77 editions, (capacity 100 thru ‘76, then 200 in '77), but was gone by the 1978 edition.

Historic Aerials show the screen and parking rows in 1963, 1980, and 1993. Those farm buildings had replaced the screen by 2005.

MichaelKilgore
MichaelKilgore on July 9, 2019 at 1:12 pm

The Feb. 4, 1955 issue of the Holbrook (AZ) Tribune-News wrote about Robert Young coming to Holbrook to build a drive-in there. Young was described as having been “(e)ngaged in the drive-in theater business in Dove Creek”. That could mean that he helped lay out the under-construction Auto Vu, or that the Dove Creek drive-in had already opened, or that Young was making up stuff.

MichaelKilgore
MichaelKilgore on September 11, 2019 at 6:37 pm

Oct. 17, 1963’s Steamboat Pilot of Steamboat Springs CO had a note about Small Business Administration loans in Colorado. The only entry we’d care about was:

Name and Location: Bolt Theatres, Dove Creek
Amount of Loan: 19,000
No. of Emp.: 1
Nature of Business: Drive-In Theatre

MichaelKilgore
MichaelKilgore on September 13, 2019 at 9:01 am

Couple of clarifications: The Auto Vu was included in the 1955-56 Theatre Catalog, but in the Salt Lake City territory. owned by Neil P. Bolt and George Armstrong, capacity 130.

And Kenmore, the building that’s on the site now was built there between 1980 and 1993, based on my interpretation of Historic Aerials' images. It sits about where the back row was when the drive-in was active. Based on HA’s comparison tools, I don’t think that was ever the projection building.

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