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Drive-in Theatres Great Plains

 

Winchester Drive-in
Oklahoma City, OK
Photo courtesy Mark Hackett

A huge towering marquee that can be seen for blocks, the sign for the Winchester Drive-in Theatre features a cowboy sporting a Winchester rifle. Too bad they don't make 'em like this anymore. The Winchester was built in 1968.

 

UPDATE 07/13 : The Winchester Drive In was directly hit by a tornado on Friday June 7, 2013 and the damage was great. The drive-in suffered structural damage to the main building where the concession stand and projection room were damaged and a brand-new projector was destroyed. The iconic neon sign and screen survived. They plan on re-opening again sometime this summer but no date has been set yet.

For more information, see the Winchester Drive-in website. Many thanks to David Hughes for update. 07-13

UPDATE 10/13 : Coming up this weekend of October 25, 2013. The Winchester Drive-in will be having their grand re-opening this Friday, which will be their first time open for business since the June 7 tornado that hit the drive-in and caused damage. Many thanks to David Hughes for update. 10-13

 

 

Twin Drive-in Theatre
Independence, MO
Photos courtesy Greg & Sonja West

The Twin Drive-in features a fantastic marquee in the entrance way, complete with overhanging arch that leads the way to the theater. This unique sign is a welcome reminder to the era when it was okay to use artistic elements and scripting to catch the eye of prospective customers. An era when resort looks and cookie-cutter mentality were yet to become the norm. The drive-in is a two screener, hence the name.

 

 

Chief Drive-in Theatre
Topeka, KS
Photos courtesy Greg West

Here are a couple of photos of the Chief Drive-in Theatre of Topeka, KS. The story on the Chief sign is interesting. The drive in itself is gone. The sign was going to be destroyed and Walmart stepped in and purchased it. It is now positioned in front of the Walmart on 37th St., in Topeka, KS. 10-05

 

 

Skyview Drive-in Theatre
Oklahoma City, OK
Photo courtesy Dave & Debra van Hulsteyn

This little fella was found perched on an old speaker post at this abandoned drive-in theatre just outside of Oklahoma City. You can almost here the little guy saying "whooo... whooo are you?" 02-08

 

 

 

Admiral Twin Drive-inAdmiral Twin Drive-in Theatre
Tulsa, OK
Photo by RoadsidePeek.com

A visit to Tulsa is not complete without a stop at the venerable Admiral Twin Drive-in Theatre. The drive-in originally opened as the Modenaire Drive-in in 1951 then was twinned a couple of years later. With its well recognized twin screens, the Admiral Twin is a landmark in Tulsa. See the wonderful Cinema Treasures site for more historical information.

Unfortunately, the Admiral Twin Drive-in wooden screens burned to the ground just before 2pm on September 3, 2010. Fans of the theatre immediately began rallying to support a rebuilding of the drive-in, which was not insured. The cause of the blaze has not yet been determined. For more information on the blaze, see this Tulsa World article. Many thanks to David for alert on this fire. 09-10

 

UPDATE 06/11 : The ground breaking for the screen tower for the Admiral Twin Drive-in was Saturday June 11 at 10:30 am. They hope to get the Drive In open again in two months from now in August. Many thanks to David Hughes for update. 06-11

 

UPDATE 07/13 : The Admiral Twin Drive In is back open again after the fire and running movies better then ever. The drive-in reopened in June 2012 and continues to see success after introducing digital projectors in May 2013 as well as upgrading the concession stand. Many thanks to David Hughes for update. 07-13

 

 

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© Copyright 1998-2013 Syd Nagoshi. All rights reserved. No portion of this document may be reproduced, copied or revised without written permission of the author.