Opening night ads, historical data, and some
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66 Drive-In Theatre (later the 11th Street Drive-In), August 21, 1948
(Delner L.Curtis Aerial Photo Service)
A rating I remember seeing back when those things started up was "M" for Mature audiences. Later this was supplanted by the ubiquitous "R". I remember watching "Night of Dark Shadow" backed with "Fearless Vampire Killers" at the 11th St. Drive-In and for my birthday present the year I turned 13, my folks broke down and took us back to the 11th St. to see "Enter the Dragon"...my first "R" movie. I was the envy of Troop 81.
Help...this is a bit off topic, but I am trying to track down a movie from the late 60s/early 70's. The style was like a serious Matt Helm-type affair with strange guys in trenchcoats, hats and dark sunglasses going around and shrinking people by pinching them on the neck then stuffing the vacated clothing into a satchel. Anyone recall what this was?
I'm 99% sure it's WILD WILD PLANET, an Italian sci-fi film released to the US in 1967. It has to be seen to be believed - very exotic, surreal and cheaply made. Mr. Webmaster, you'll love the cliched yet ethereal electronic score if nothing else.
Thanks a zillion! "Wild, Wild Planet" is indeed that film. Seems like I saw it at the 11th Street Drive-In.
Speaking of Drive-Ins, our clan spent a lot of time at the 11th Street Drive-In. Dad told me it was originally called the "66" and was one the first big landmarks you saw before getting into town. I can remember Mom loading up a metal ice chest with Cragmont Soda Pop (Sparkling Punch for David and me). Seems like it was a big deal in the 1970s when they added a second screen on the West Side. I do remember seeing a long line of tail lights stacked up on 11th whenever they had a big feature.
It made you appreciate the strength of a Ford Galaxie to have seen me and Dave climbing all over that car waiting for the show to start. Too much Sparkling Punch and Oreos I guess.
Riverside Drive-In, circa 1956
Location given as: N 36° 3.64', W 95° 58.19'
The Tulsa Tribune. Friday, May 7, 1948
|Webmaster, 11/2/2013: From a high altitude aerial photograph over sections 5, 6, 7, and 8 of Township 18N and Range 13E, courtesy of the Tulsa City-County Library. This is in section 7.|
(from Guestbook 44) Frank Morrow said:
I dont remember exactly where the Riverside Drive-In Theatre was except that it seemed to be out somewhere near where Oral Roberts University is now. It might have been closer to town, though. But I do remember some of the activities that went on there.
There were stories of people being smuggled into the place in the trunks of cars. Other people supposedly tried to get in for free by backing in the exit with their lights out to avoid notice.
I do know for sure that I got good use of my folks 49 Nash and later my 51 Nash. For you youngsters who dont know about the Nashs specialty, the front seats folded back to make a bed. (Studebakers had the same feature.) It was great for drive-ins, because you could lean back against the back seat and stretch your legs out to watch the movie in great comfort. Sometimes, however, the movie could be difficult to watch if the windshield was steamed up. That was no problem, though, because you werent watching the movie anyway.
Two things still seem strange to me: I dont remember ever being bitten by a mosquito (The owners must have been generous with their DDT spraying.), and I dont ever remember being bothered by heat or humidity. I guess we were made of tougher stuff back then. Also, air-conditioned cars were not to be had at this time. We didnt know that we were uncomfortable.
Subsequent generations owe a great debt to the drive-in movies. Without those places many of the younger people wouldn't even be in existence today.
I grew up on 64th between Peoria and Lewis. Been living in Colorado since 1980. I remember seeing the Riverside Drive-In across the soy bean field and imagining the lights from the marquee were part of a spaceship.
The Riverside Drive-in Theatre was located on 71st Street between Lewis and Peoria where the Red River Apartments are today. There is an old auction building (still standing) that was almost directly across the street from the Drive in. I have a copy of an aerial photo from the Tulsa Historical Society and you can see the auction building...of course nothing else was around!
The Tulsa Tribune, April 23, 1948. Ad says, "And don't forget the
|Location: (Theatre) N 36.2096, W 95.9952
Location: (entrance) N 36.2092, W 95.9938
Located at 3800 N. Cincinnati.
Satellite photo shows very little remains.
Operated by Video Theatres from February 23, 1948 until September 15, 1970.
1948-49 Theatre Catalog lists Griffith Theatres as owner.
1949-1950 Theatre Catalog lists Griffith Metropolitan Theatres as owner.
1955 Theatre Catalog lists Capacity at 648.
1965 IMPA lists capacity as 662.
(from Guestbook 52) Lowell Burch said:
I wish that they could have broadcast the soundtrack on FM when I was growing up. I could sit in my backyard at the bottom of Cincinnati Hill and see the screen of the Skyline Drive-In, I just couldn't hear it. That was back when the Capri and many others had playgrounds that included motorized rides, many that were built, I understand, out of salvaged WWII bombers by Bob Bell (Bell's Amusement Park).
Speaking of drive-in movies, my first trip was to the, long gone, Skyline at 36th St. N. and Cincinnati. Saw "The Great Escape" with my folks and the next day tried out my Steve McQueen style of bike riding down at the dead end. Got a little cut up on a barbed wire fence. I was a little cut-up!
There used to be playgrounds under the screens of the drive-ins. People would get there early so the kids could play before the feature started. Remember the giant cut-out cartoon figures around the playgrounds? They were at the Riverside, the Capri, and maybe one more, all owned by Griffith Theatres. My dad, C. Ray Johnston. painted those every year from about 1952-70.
The Skyline Drive-In, courtesy of Wesley Horton
|Webmaster, 10/10/2013: From a high altitude aerial photograph over sections 11, 12, 13, and 14 of Township 20N and Range 12E, courtesy of the Tulsa City-County Library.|
Friday, May 5, 1950
(From the Sapulpa Daily Herald, by permission of Don Diehl)
Sunday, May 7, 1950
Huge Crowd Happy at Opening of New Drive-in Theater.
"An evening well spent."
This was the general comment from patrons at the opening night of Sapulpa's first drive-in theater, the Teepee.
"We have finally found some place to spend our evenings without being forced to drive 15 miles during the hot summer months," said one of the pleased first nighters.
The Teepee, located one mile west of Sapulpa on Highway 66, opened with an overwhelming crowd and the staff managed to make each carload of visitors welcome in a courteous, helpful manner.
After the first show, a glorious display of fireworks thrilled the audience and a huge Hollywood flood light added to the "big time" atmosphere of the opening night.
Cool refreshing breezes and soft music added to a new Technicolor picture and the privacy of your own car provided for the most humungous entertainment acceptable to Sapulpa's Friday night and the best part, it will be available any night this summer, rain or shine.
Two girls (Your choice of blonde or brunette) make the ticket sales at the handy drive in window and first nighters were provided with clean windshields by attendants of the Sheerer Service station. Just inside the grounds, other courteous attendants directed the parking and arrangement of the easy to use in-a-car speakers.
The grounds of the Teepee are arranged in rows just as are the urban theaters; these rows are made of earth in the shape of mounds. Simply park your car with the front elevated until you reach the desired position for perfect vision.
Ample lights provide fast exit and attendants once again directed the traffic.
"You'll find Ma, Pa and the kids at the drive-in," said one of Sapulpa's leading citizens upon leaving the gate. "We've found our summer's entertainment at the Teepee."
Today: the Cardinal Drive-In was at the upper-right polygon.
The Cardinal was near Collinsville at N. Memorial Dr. and State Hwy 20, north of Tulsa and Owasso.
Wes Horton: "The Cardinal Drive-in Theatre had its grand opening ad on Friday July 3, 1953. I do have a copy of it...
"The only other thing I know is that it was listed in the 1955 Theatre Catalog, Robert Downing as Exec. Capacity was given as 182 cars. It was also listed in the 1960 International Motion Picture Almanac as having a capacity of 210 cars and R.M. Downing as owner."
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