1340 Glenwood Way,
South Lake Tahoe,
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Previously operated by: Luxury Theatres
This was the second drive-in at South Lake Tahoe, opened in 1957 and closed 1984. First owned by Steve Myers & Bill Garren, then sold it to Robert Retzer & Willis Tomlinson in the 1970’s. They ran the Tahoe circuit as T&R Theaters. Around March or April of 1980, it was purchased by Luxury Theaters.
Because of Lake Tahoe’s elevation of 6237 feet, the drive-in season was short, June to September usually.
By 1984, the theater had ran out of gas and attendance was at an all-time low. About 10-20 cars a night. The final show was September 3, 1984 with “Oxford Blues” & “Footloose”. The local paper did a front page story on its demise. “We are thrilled to death to unload that turkey” says Margaret Reynolds of Luxury Theaters. It was a summertime nightmare, rampant vandalism and a party atmosphere were a common occurrence. All the kids peeled out at 3am which the neighbors didn’t like.
It’s rather ironic that the drive-in lasted as long as it did. Most of the later day advertisements that I saw had programming that repeated the first film. So they could have stopped some of the rowdiness with a standard double-feature.
It was proposed that the city of South Lake Tahoe buy the property and use it to expand the nearby Bijou Golf Course. That never happened and the land has remained vacant until 2014 when construction popped up and a MacMansion was built on the site.
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