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A Few Drive-In Theaters Survive in Texas
By David Williams
April 11, 2008 - Many people today are too young to remember drive-in theaters. I'm not. I have fond memories of my grandparents taking my brother and I to the Viking Drive-In on Ayers Street in Corpus Christi. For, naturally, a succession of bad movies. Mostly martial arts and monster flicks. Not many Oscar-winners opened at the drive-in, even in the heyday of drive-ins. We watched Octagon, one of Chuck Norris' earliest flicks, at the drive-in, and Orca, the Jaws rip-off starring a killer whale in place of the shark.
The Viking in Corpus Christi closed sometime in the late 1970s, or early 1980s at the latest. The grounds survived for a while as home to a flea market, but no traces now remain.
My most recent trip to the drive-in was back around 1997, when a group of friends caught Species at the Mission Drive-In in San Antonio. The Mission Drive-In has since, alas, gone the way of most other drive-ins. The way of the wrecking ball. It closed in 2007.
But a handful of drive-in theaters remain in Texas. Eighteen of them, in fact, according to a list compiled by the United Drive-In Theater Owners Association and appearing recently in the San Antonio Express-News. The list was current as of July 2007, so it's possible there may be some changes by now. If you know of any other drive-ins in Texas - or have updates on any drive-ins on the list below, post in comments.
Abilene - Town & Country Drive-In, 2902 Vogel Street
Amarillo - Tascosa Drive-In, 1999 Dumas Highway
Clarendon - Sandell Drive-In, Texas 70 N.
El Paso - Fiesta Drive-In, 13800 E. Montana Ave.
Ennis - Galaxy Drive-In, 5301 N. I-45
Gatesville - Last Drive-In Picture Show, 2912 S. Texas 36 Bypass
Graham - Graham Drive-In, Jacksboro Highway
Granbury - Brazos Drive-In, 1800 W. Pearl Street (U.S. 377)
Killeen - Central Texas Drive-In, 4001 S. Fort Hood Street (Texas 195)
Lamesa - Sky-Value Drive-In, Big Spring Highway South
Lubbock - Stars & Stripes Drive-In, 5101 U.S. 84
Mercedes - Wes-Mer Drive-In, 2090 W. U.S. 83
Midland - Big Sky Drive-In, 6200 U.S. 80 W.
Porter - Starlite Drive-In, 24003 N. U.S. 59
Rule - Tower Drive-In, U.S. 6 (RR1)
Shiner - Crossroads Drive-In, U.S. 90A at FM 531
Tyler - Apache Drive-In, Route 31 East
Weslaco - Cactus Drive-In, Route 83
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