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De Anza Drive-in Theatre (Demolished)
Tucson, AZ
Photo by RoadsidePeek.com

 

The De Anza Drive-in Theatre is the last remaining open drive-in in Tucson, Arizona. Sporting four screens, this ozoner, once called the Cactus, still delights fans with multiple choices for entertainment. Unfortunately, the pace of change is quickening, and the could be next to fall by the wayside. Former name "Cactus" info courtesy Andy Callahan

 

UPDATE 05/04 : The De Anza is alive and well and sports a new roof and new FM transmitters. The last few weekends have been close to sold out for all four screens. The drive-in was originally known as the Cactus and opened March 24 1951. It was owned by the same folks who ended up owning all but the Syufy\Century Tucson 5 which opened in January 1974 and closed around 1984 when it became a multiplex. The name changed to the De Anza in 1977 when they made it a triple. A year later, they added a fourth screen to compete with the Tucson 5. Many thanks to George Cohn for update. 05-04

UPDATE 10/08 : After being threatened to be sold, demolished, and made into a retail complex, the proposed deal with Evergreen Development fell through earlier this summer. The De Anza has extended itself for hopefully many more months. 10-08

UPDATE 10/09 : The De Anza Drive-in Theatre held its last open-air picture show on Saturday October 3 after being purchased by a land developer. The former Cactus Drive-in first showed movies in 1951 and was Tucson's last open drive-in theatre. According to the Arizona Daily Star, the Evergreen Development Co. has no immediate plans to develop the property. 10-08

 

 

Glendale 9 Drive-in Theatre
Phoenix, AZ
Photo by RoadsidePeek.com

Here's the Glendale 9 of Phoenix, Arizona. Yes, 9 individual screens make up this lot. With 9 ticket booths and screen towers, business should be brisk at this open-air supreme.

 

 

Scottsdale Six Drive-in (Closed)
Scottsdale, AZ
Photo by RoadsidePeek.com


The Scottsdale Six in Scottsdale, Arizona sports 3 less screens than the Glendale 9 but has the distinction of having a grassy hut located on the property facing the roadside. No, it's not a mistake... the snack bar does look just like the Glendale 9's.

 

UPDATE 07/13 : The Scottsdale 6 Drive-in Theatre closed about three years ago. The Native American tribe owned the land that the Drive In was on, and when the lease expired they wanted back the land. so they got it. The drive-in has been closed ever since. Many thanks to David Hughes for update. 07-13

 

 

Tonto Drive-in Theatre (Demolished)
Winslow, AZ
Photo by RoadsidePeek.com

 

The Tonto Drive-in Theatre in Winslow Arizona is one of the last remaining Route 66 open-air theaters left. The ruins of this theatre can be seen off I-40.

Former ticket booth
Photo by RoadsidePeek.com

 

If any drive-in has a romantic edge to it, the Tonto is it. This drive-in is one that captures the spirit of not just the Mother Road but of road trips in general.

 

UPDATE : The Tonto was operated by Nance and had a capacity of 300 cars. Many thanks to Andy Callahan for update.

UPDATE : The screen and ticket booth have both been razed and are now just a memory. At this point, just the marquee remains, but for how long?

 

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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.