Midway Drive-In

2835 U.S. 181,
Karnes City, TX 78118

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Midway Drive-In

The Midway Drive-In opened January 1, 1950. The first movie shown was Cary Grant in “The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer”. The owner was Alfred Pawelek. The cost to build the drive in was $55,000. In 1954, he widened the screen for CinemaScope. In 1964, he enclosed the patio area to make a rec room, air conditioned, heated and had sound piped in for about 60 people to watch when the weather was to cold or too hot. He then extended the concession building length for extra outdoor patio seating. There was a playground under the screen with swings, slides, merry-go-round and a jungle jim.

In the early-1970’s, Pawelek again added on to the concession building making a restaurant. It officially opened in 1973. It was called Polack’s Sausage Farm. During the day the restaurant gave them extra revenue and at night they had the movies. But it wasn’t enough to keep the drive-in going and it closed January 1, 1975 on it’s 25th anniversary with the Timothy Bottoms in “The Last Picture Show”. A fifty foot section of the old perimeter fence remains near the exit. A few asphalt ramps are visible in back. The old ticket booth was converted into his bbq pits, but sometime in the 1990’s, the building caught fire and had to be rebuilt, but in the same location. Mr. Pawelek sold the restaurant business in 2000.

Contributed by driveinfan

Recent comments (view all 2 comments)

Kris4077 on March 22, 2019 at 8:31 am

A better address is 2835 U.S. 181, Karnes City, TX. It puts the pointer right on the spot in Google Maps.

MichaelKilgore on August 14, 2019 at 8:06 pm

“It cost Manager Alfred Pawelek of the Midway Drive-In, Karnes City, $57.50 in taxi charges the other evening to show patrons the western feature he had advertised. The film for his program was due to arrive from Benavides but missed a bus connection at Corpus Christi, which threw it so far behind schedule that it would not have arrived until 8:20, an hour and 20 minutes too late for showtime. After hurried phone calls and a couple of ‘heart failures,’ Pawelek contacted a taxi company in Corpus Christi and ordered the film sent to Karnes City by cab. The taxi driver left Corpus Christi with the film at 5 and delivered it to Pawelek by 6:50 in time for the 7 p.m. showing.” — Boxoffice, July 4, 1960

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