Valley 6 Drive-In

401 49th Street NE,
Auburn, WA 98002

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Showing 1 - 25 of 52 comments

KenLayton on March 13, 2019 at 4:26 pm

What a pity. This theater did a lot of business.

Kris4077 on March 13, 2019 at 2:26 pm

The land is still vacant you would think the way they quickly demolished it after the owners death there would have been something new going up on the land. What a shame.

dansdriveintheater on March 11, 2019 at 9:32 pm

no there gone G O N E Gone!

davidcoppock on March 8, 2018 at 4:31 am

The two marquees are still too i think?

SteveSwanson on September 23, 2013 at 8:58 pm

I stopped by labor Day weekend for one last visit. The screens were the first to be torn down and now all that scrap metal has been hauled away. Both snack bar/ticket booths have been demo'ed. All signage is gone, the exterior fencing is up still. But the speakers posts remain, standing guard in each field.

Mmandarano on September 23, 2013 at 6:36 pm

Indeed, very, very sad.

KenLayton on July 5, 2013 at 7:33 pm

I wonder where all the equipment went from this theater?

SteveSwanson on May 23, 2013 at 4:13 am

You can change the status to demolished now. All screens are down as well as the south side snack bar & ticket booths. I would imagine they will be done by August.

thisisjohnbook on February 3, 2013 at 12:25 am

It seems that drive-in owner Kieth Kiehl died from cancer-related causes on December 19, 2012, as the website for the theater is his obituary.

Two Facebook pages for the drive-in, one fan-based and the other with now-former employees, all confirm that the 2012 season was their last. Plans for “re-development” of the property are underway.

The marquee, mentioning Kiehl’s passing:

R Norenberg
R Norenberg on October 16, 2012 at 2:37 am

I know what some of you guys have all said, but I have just recieved word from one of the employees of the Valley “6” drive in that they have been told that they are now closed for good… That’s not to say that they won’t change there mind between now and spring, but the word is as of now closed for good. In the mean time we can try to save it by going to facebook, and looking up save our auburn valley drive in.

Scott Neff
Scott Neff on September 6, 2012 at 10:21 pm

No good reason to develop land right now if there are no retail tenants to fill it or people buying houses.

KenLayton on September 5, 2012 at 4:24 pm

Well with Disney, Warners, Paramount, and Universal signing a contract with Kodak to continue manufacturing billions of feet of 35mm film through December of 2015, the Valley should have no problem getting 35mm film product.

SteveSwanson on September 5, 2012 at 12:39 pm

I talked to Keith, the manager, back in the spring. At that time, he believed they would be open in 2013 and maybe even 2014 as well. I fully expect them to not deal with the digital conversion. So, as long as there is film product out there, they can make a go of it. Now that the Robertson Corp. owns the land, they seem to be dragging their feet on the redevelopment.

KenLayton on September 5, 2012 at 5:59 am

Their website and “now Playing” page say this:

“Last weekend of the season- Fri-Mon, Aug 31-Sept 3”

I can only assume it’s just their end of the season and nothing to worry about.

R Norenberg
R Norenberg on September 4, 2012 at 9:30 pm

I think we’re in trouble. As of today, the information phone line for the Valley 6 simply says. “unfortunately we are now closed”. It doesn’t sound good, anybody know anything about this are they finally gone?

R Norenberg
R Norenberg on July 21, 2012 at 6:49 pm

It is my understanding that the Valley will not be going digital, they will simply close when 35mm is gone. The Rodeo in Port Orchard, has said they WILL be converting this winter. The skyline and Blue Fox are attempting to raise funds to be able to afford them.

KenLayton on July 20, 2012 at 6:21 pm

That figure should be $80,000 per screen.

ayaueto on July 20, 2012 at 5:02 pm

Soon there may be No more Drive-Ins as Studios force Drive In’s and Small Local Mom & Pop Theatre’s to go Digital by 2013! Cost $80,000.00 each to upgrade!

Remember going to the Valley Drive In as a kid in our parents station wagon. Was only $4 per carload back in the 70’s and as a teen in the 80’s. Also Really miss the other drive ins that closed down, like the Aurora (now Sam’s Club), Bel-Kirk, Sunset (now Factoria Cinemas), Duwamish (now Boeing Office), Midway (was Swap Meet), & Sno-King (was Swap Meet).

Their beloved place with all those memories of summer nights snuggled up, and sometimes even watching movies through windshield wipers in pouring rain, has to adapt or die. And adapting is going to cost something like $80,000, not money that mom-and-pop operations on a shoestring have handy. That’s how much a digital projector costs, and drive-ins like the Blue Fox, and their cousins — the theaters in small towns — have no choice. The days of 35-millimeter film are nearly over. The reels have been replaced by a computer hard drive, and going digital costs plenty. A woman writes, “I love the drive in theater … Places in times like these should never wither away, we need our roots, our memories, our simpler times to keep us grounded and focused.” Darrell Bratt, who, with his wife, Lori, bought the Blue Fox in 1988, jokes that if just one fan of the drive-in bought a T-shirt for $80,000, everything would be fine. So far, he’s sold about $16,000 worth of them. The theater is still using the same projector as when the drive-in opened — the Century Model SA, Serial No. 6019. It is a workhorse in the industry and has been working just fine through all the decades, just some minor tuneups. The old-fashioned machines that seemed so romantic as the film wound through have been replaced by a 2 ½-by-3 ½-foot black box that is the digital projector, plus a computer server and a laptop. The movie itself? It is shipped to the theater in a metal hard drive like you’d see in a home computer, except it has a monster memory that can hold six full-length movies. The hard drive is “ingested” into the server and won’t play unless digitally unlocked with an emailed password, and it’ll only stay unlocked for a certain period of time.

For the studios, the math is simple. A typical two-hour movie takes up a little over two miles of film. It costs $1,200 to $1,500 for each print. A widely released film like “Prometheus” opened in some 3,400 theaters, says Patrick Corcoran, director of media and research for the National Association of Theatre Owners. You go digital, “and you save a billion in striking prints and shipping costs,” says Corcoran. He says three-quarters of movie screens already have switched to the new format. “Sometime in 2013, the major studios will basically stop distributing movies on film,” says Corcoran.

harryzona on April 13, 2012 at 10:54 pm

the valley drive in (or “the VD” as it was known) with one screen, opened either in late 1966 or very early 1967. My girlfriend Peggy and I spent pretty much all(our weekends) of 1967 there. It is great to see it is still operating!!!

R Norenberg
R Norenberg on October 29, 2011 at 9:26 pm

I know about the Skyline, and would like to make it there sometime, but for me the nearest Drive in is Valley, and it is 2 hours from home. So once it is gone my ability to go to the drive in will be severely reduced.

markinthedark on October 26, 2011 at 5:58 pm

For Puget Sound drive in buffs there is still the Skyline Drive In in Shelton, WA…its just on the other side of Puget Sound.

R Norenberg
R Norenberg on October 26, 2011 at 5:22 pm

Update, despite what I have been told these news articles say that development may come sooner than later.

R Norenberg
R Norenberg on September 1, 2011 at 11:03 pm

News from the Valley Drive-in, the theater will be closing for the season late in September depending on the weather. They are already planing the 2012 season, so the theater will be operating next year for sure. It is unknown if theaters 5 & 6 will be opening 2012, at this time but, 1, 2 ,3 will be for sure. I have been told that there is no budget for repairs so there will be no improvements over the winter, but it is good to know they will be operating next year.

R Norenberg
R Norenberg on May 26, 2011 at 7:28 am

I went down and saw Thor on screen one a couple of weeks ago and the sound was fine for us but I have had the same crackling, echoing thing happen sometimes. You have to keep in mind it is AM and more prone to interference than FM. The Cine-Fi AM sound system they use was top of the line in 1980 and is now 30 years old. You also have to keep in mind the drive-in has been slated to close any time since the 1990’s as such there on a very limited budget. Last year Valley operated screens 1-3 only, opting to lease out 5 and 6 as vehicle storage. However this year screen 5 and 6 will reopen on Memorial weekend. Screen 4 is still permanently closed. It has been confirmed that Valley will likely stay open for another 4 to 5 seasons. We do not go to indoor theaters(we don’t like them), we drive 30 miles one way to Valley, and it is now the last operating drive-in in the Puget sound area, this place needs to be saved. We can only hope that Pacific Theatres realizes the importance of Valley 6 to the area, and keeps it around long term, and catches the place up on maintenance, and upgrades that have been missed.