Comments from dallasmovietheaters

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dallasmovietheaters commented about Lee Theatre on May 22, 2015 at 4:38 pm

The Lee was architected by Frank Bail with an initial budget of $52,000 and was built for the Cojac Theatre Circuit that was a subsidiary of Warner Brothers in the pre-Paramount decision years. Construction began on Feb. 3, 1941.

dallasmovietheaters commented about Tra-Bay Theatre on May 22, 2015 at 6:07 am

The Front Street locale was home to the first entertainment space designed in Traverse City for the showing of moving pictures called the Dreamland Theatre. The space also had vaudeville. Though attributed the George Lote Silver as the original owner, he and his family were the third operators coming aboard in 1910. The regular feature films stop in 1926 and the building is home to a photographer in the early 1930s. W.S. Butterfield Theatre Circuit (part of the Publix-Paramount operation) reimagines the property creating the all new Tra-Bay Theatre opening in May of 1935. The 700-seat theater joins the Lyric as Butterfield’s Traverse City theaters to be joined in 1941 by the Michigan Theatre.

The Tra-Bay ends quietly on August 2, 1954 just shy of its 20th anniversary closing with “On Top of Old Smoky” and “ The Glass Wall.” The theater apparently sat vacant until purchased by Butterfield as a clearance sale room for Milliken’s furniture in November of 1955. The building would be swapped for another property with longtime Tra-Bay neighbor, Hamilton’s, to expand that clothing store into the Tra-Bay in 1958. The theater is dismantled. At that point, Butterfield Theatres returns but only to remove its projection equipment and donates it to the Traverse City State Hospital which had 1923-era antiquated projection equipment. Though the Tra-Bay building would be razed, that address on Front Street will be remembered for providing around five decades of entertainment for Traverse City residents and tourists.

dallasmovietheaters commented about 70 Twin Drive-In on May 20, 2015 at 4:30 am

This o-zoner opened in May of 1946 as Drive-In Theatre aka Burlington Drive-In Theatre with an antiquated sound system and substandard grounds. The theatre closed for a major remodeling in 1948 re-opening June 4, 1948 with John Wayne’s “Pittsburgh.” The improved theater now had individual speakers, a concession stand and updated rest rooms. On October 29, 1949, the theatre changed its name to the Hi-Way 70 East Drive-In Theatre and then on July 16, 1951, the theater name was shortened to the East 70 Drive-In Theatre which it held on to until being destroyed in a storm closing to rebuild on June 8, 1969.

As the single-screen East 70 Drive-In, the theatre had many highlights including North Carolina’s first 3D showings on April 12, 1953 and giving away a 12-foot boot while celebrating the theater’s 10th anniversary in May of 1956. Plans were developed in 1969 to add a second screen and mother nature assisted that when the theater was decimated by a June 8, 1969 storm toppling its tower. The theater was closed until re-emerging as the 70 Twin Drive-In Theatre with “True Grit” and “Hello Down There” on Screen 1 and “Gone With the Wind” on re-issue on Screen 2.

The then-30 screen operation by Consolidated Theatre Circuit spent $500,000 on the twin. It would feature a game room with ten pinball machines, a pitch-and-bat arcade game, and a shuffle puck bowler. Pizza was added to the expanded concession area. And four-lane ticket booth added as the theater went from seeing fewer than 500 cars to around 1,100 on both lots. The 100' high and 60' wide metal screens had projection from X6000 Xenon lamp equipped “computerized” projectors.

The twins would stay in operation until reportedly closing in 1980 prior to the theater’s 35th anniversary. The space also hosted a weekend flea market that was popular in the area. The theaters were vandalized becoming an eyesore d until their demolition in 1991. Just traces of the roadway remained in the 2010s as a retail facility replaced the venerable o-zoner.

dallasmovietheaters commented about Pastime Theatre on May 18, 2015 at 8:42 pm

The Pastime Theatre did not open in 1934. It opened on December 1, 1911 as the first theater in Lumberton built for photo plays and managed by Wade S. Wishart. (Though his obituary says the Pastime Theatre opened in 1910, there are no listings, mentions or bookings at the theater prior to the opening date in 1911.) The Pastime was remodeled soon thereafter celebrated another grand opening playing films such as “Birth of a Nation” and its sequel. It transitioned to a low cost theater during WW I Owner H.H. Anderson took over the theater in 1917 installing new Simplex film projectors.

Anderson sold out to Mr. and Mrs. J.W. Griffin in 1926 who sold to a fourth owner in 1929, Joe Caudell who installed Movietone sound with its first talkie with “Abie’s Irish Rose” May 24, 1929. The Carolina ownership, The Lumberton Theatre Company, took over the Pastime September 23, 1929 and with its Vitaphone sound system showed the “Jazz Singer” October 2, 1929 for its first Vitaphone screening in Lumberton. But by late November, the Lumberton Theatre Company rented the theater out for sporadic events including live singing, vaudeville and boxing and no longer used it for theatrical bookings. Obviously, the company worried about the onset of the Depression and its toll on Lumberton moviegoers.

Wishart who had managed the Lyric and Star and then would leave town only to return trying in 1931 in vain to re-establish the Pastime as a regular feature film location. (He would cashier at the Caroline and then on to run the Riverdale for seemingly ever and retiring at 80 back at the Carolina.)

The seldom-used Pastime was updated with RCA sound as it transfers from Lumberton Theatre Company in August of 1934 by the Anderson Theatre Circuit on a five-year lease. Anderson ran into major problems when it altered its balcony policies from all Indian to cater to the high number of American Indians in the area to an all African American balcony policy leaving out the Indians. In March 15, 1939 the Pastime had a grand re-opening as that year H.F. Kincey takes on both of Lumberton Theatre Circuit’s Lumberton holdings in the Carolina and Pastime on ten-year leases. That formation would be the Wilby-Kincey circuit which would steer the Pastime to its closure on March 25, 1949 going dark. Jimmy Adams purchases the building housing the theater on March 2, 1950 and apparently disassembles the theater starting with the lobby ending its cinematic service at just over 37 years.

dallasmovietheaters commented about Carolina Civic Center on May 18, 2015 at 4:11 am

S.S. Dixon of Fayetteville was the theater’s architect.

dallasmovietheaters commented about Riverside Theatre on May 18, 2015 at 3:54 am

The Morris LeGendre theater was his 11th opening April 2d, 1939 with “Topper Takes a Trip.” It had three ticket booths, one for Caucasian audiences who could sit in the 500 seat main floor and then 250 seats in a split balcony with 125 for Lumberton’s large American Indian population in the East Gallery and 125 for African Americans in the West Gallery. The exploitation film, “Mom and Dad” set records to that point for the theater with the sold-out shows snarling traffic, leading to ticket scalping, and having five women faint. J. Paul Lewis was the Riverside’s manager from 1939 until its temporary closure in 1976. He said that “Vanishing Point” was the theater’s highest grossing film along with “Patton” and “Gone with the Wind.”

Lewis would help launch and manage the Town & Country 1-2 when it opened in 1977. Lewis also was the independent operator of the Riverside from 1961-1964 when LeGendre dropped the theater. On June 1, 1964, H.B. Meiselman Circuit added the Riverside to its portfolio.Meiselman changed everything in the theater including marquee, screen, projection, and 400 new seats. The theater was the stepchild to the superior Carolina though superior to the Pastime which closed decades earlier.

Under Eastern Federal Theatres Circuit in the mid-1970s, the theater would go for adult films while launching a more family-centric twin screen theater. With a twin screen and a three-screen operation supplying plenty of nearby free parking, the writing was on the wall for the aging downtown theaters. The Riverside would close at the the end of March 1977 and the Carolina would shutter just two months later ending a long run of downtown cinema history. And while the Carolina would be saved as a live performance venue, the Riverside would be razed.

dallasmovietheaters commented about Town & Country 4 Theatres on May 18, 2015 at 3:25 am

Newman Bower Architects designed the Town & Country 1-2 Theatres as a twin-screen theatre in which both 350-seat auditoria were identical and shared the same, automated projection booth. On April 6, 1977, the theater had its official Grand Opening for the Eastern Federal Theatre Circuit’s 41st theater. They launched with the films, “Rocky” and “The Crater Lake Monster.” J. Paul Lewis, the opening manager of the Riverside Theater when it opened in 1939 in downtown was the T&C’s first manager. At that point, the Riverside was in Eastern Federal control but closed where it would be reopened closing out as an adult venue. The Town & Country would become a four-screen operation and is still going into the mid-2010s as part of 701 Cinemas.

dallasmovietheaters commented about 211 Drive-In on May 15, 2015 at 5:16 pm

The 211 Drive-In Opened on April 24, 1952 with “Treasure of Lost Canyon.” It closed in early summer of 1985 for a good run of 33 years including 9 years of adult operation at the end and a brief turn back to family entertainment in its final months.

dallasmovietheaters commented about Crosscreek Cinemas on May 15, 2015 at 11:17 am

The Crosscreek Cinemas 1•2•3 in Greenwood Mall launched July 17, 1981 with “Stripes,” “The Great Muppet Caper” and “Endless Love.” Consolidated Theatres Inc. Circuit operated the theater likely on a 25-year lease. The 600-seat theater became part of Carmike in 1990 when Consolidated was purchased. The Carmike Triple Crosscreek Cinemas at Greenwood Mall closed Sept. 24, 2006 with “Jackass: Number Two,” “Flyboys,” and Everyone’s “Hero”. (Technically, this three screener – 200 seats per auditorium – was always three-screens and known as the Crosscreek Cinema and not the Greenwood Mall Cinemas. However, the generic Mall Cinema was what was above the exterior entrance door which could explain the entry’s title.)

dallasmovietheaters commented about Hamrick Theatre on May 15, 2015 at 4:34 am

Lyman A. Hamrick’s $60,000 “New Theatre” architected by Charles Collins Benton had 780 seats at its April 12, 1930 launch playing, “Fast Company” on its 19'x28' screen and Gaffney Mayor Victor Lipscomb dedicating the theatre. On June 10, 1930, the theatre began advertising as the Hamrick Theatre which it retained until closing on January 4, 1969. Many preservation efforts were made up until the theater’s demolition in May of 1988. But with a large hole in its roof, the building’s neglect for nearly twenty years was too extensive to overcome.

At opening, the cream colored deco building with green trim stood out with the bronze lettering spelling out “Comedy” and “Drama” at left (see photo) and “Music” and “Art” at right. The theater’s Spanish Renaissance interior had a rough quality to it. The theater was designed with Vitaphone sound in mind and would also feature Western Electric sound on film from the outset. The adjoining Chatterbox Soda Fountain was where snacks for the movie would be purchased until an interior concession stand was added in 1954. Also in 1954, the theater played its first 3D show in “The Creature from the Black Lagoon.”

The theater only had two managers with its second manager, G.G. Humphries managing it for more than 35 years and one employee in Jim Gibson who was there for almost the entire theater run of nearly 39 years. A festive last day on January 4, 1969 had films, “A Twist of Sand,” “Five Million Years to Earth,” and “The Viking Queen” along with live music on the stage of “The Fantastic Five.” The theater was neglected after its closing as the roof over the auditorium developed leaks that would hamper the many attempts to salvage the building. A desperate preservation plan was scuttled in April of 1988 and the building razed in May of 1988.

dallasmovietheaters commented about Hohman Theatre on May 14, 2015 at 4:05 am

Architected at 1,000 seats by L. Cosby Bernard, the $65,000 Hohman Theater had a Christmas Day 1936 opening with a 20-year lease that it didn’t make it to the end of. First feature was “Laughing Irish Eyes”

dallasmovietheaters commented about Hollywood Theatre on May 12, 2015 at 7:02 am

Architected by L.L. Jensen, Williamson’s Hollywood Theatre by John Williamson was a $90,000 Spanish motif theater with Spanish chandeliers with a blue and gold color palette and gold curtain. The Hollywood was announced in 1924 and constructed in 1926 and 1927. It was Salem’s first suburban theater named after its area, the Hollywood District. It opened on 3 March 1927 with “Seven Days” followed by the legendary Oregon-shot feature by Buster Keaton, “The General.”

Mary Lebold was at the Wurlitzer organ over from the Capitol following a special free performance by T.S. Roberts. It seated 500 with 350 in the orchestra and 150 in the balcony. The projection was a short throw in the the tightly configured auditorium. The third floor of the structure contained 12 apartments while Davies Confectionary (later the Hollywood Sweet Shop) was on the main floor adjoining the theater. Labor problems occur almost from the outset with the manager of the theater quitting and taking out an ad saying he’s no longer associated with the theater; Williamson’s name disappears from ads, as well.

A fire on Feb. 4, 1929 caused by the switchboard ruined the Wurlitzer and closed the theater for months until it reopened with new management, Ray Strumbo. His improvements included the Hollywood’s first talking pictures. After the War, the theater changes hands a half dozen times and is closed in 1953 just two weeks after the State had closed. But the theater re-opened appealing mainly to children and defying the odds to make it to its 30th anniversary. The theater struggled as the decade of the 1950s closed but under owner Matt Knighton, the theater finally found its way in the early and late 1960s mixing in foreign films and art film offerings. General American Theaters Circuit of Portland (GAT) purchased the Hollywood in late July of 1969. The theater’s balcony was closed off and the seat count was down to 350.

The theater closed on May 25, 1971 as GAT would create a new theater in the Lancaster Mall and the Hollywood was razed as part of an urban renewal project. In nearly 45 years of service, the Hollywood proved itself to be a part of the community it served and a true survivor through the silent to talkie conversion, Depression, WW2 and onset of television. It was missed not so much for its architecture but for being Salem’s first suburban and part of the fabric of the Hollywood District.

dallasmovietheaters commented about Highway 26 Outdoor Theatre on May 11, 2015 at 11:09 am

Technically, the o-zoner’s correct name is the Hi-Way 26 Outdoor Theatre and was launched by the Badger Outdoor Theatre Company on June 21, 1949. On Historic Aerials, using 3024 Milton Ave., Janesville, WI 53545 and going back to Topos for 1964/72/77 shows the Drive-In.

dallasmovietheaters commented about Decatur Drive-In on May 10, 2015 at 6:28 pm

By the way, the drive-in theater actually didn’t open on Nov. 8, 1947 as indicated in the contest. It actually was delayed for more than six months with its grand opening on July 30, 1948.

dallasmovietheaters commented about Crescent Theatre on May 8, 2015 at 12:27 pm

Reading your local paper, all reports indicate that this was the Nixon Theatre originated by J.A. Swaton exhibiting vaudeville and short films. The Nixon was purchased by Gus Crivello on Nov. 2, 1909 and renamed / advertised as the Nina Theatre. On Dec. 6, 1909 Jack Herman purchased the Nina continuing into 1910.

This part may be incorrect, but the paper indicates that on March 15, 1910, the theatre is changed to the Bijou Theatre showing films and with vaudeville acts. On April 29, 1910, the theater is closed by the city. Re-opens briefly as the Bijou until new owners take over in 1911.

On September 25, 1911, the Crescent Theater advertises at 210 W. Third St. In November of 1915, the theater changes hands again and is known as the “new” Crescent into 1916 before closing early in the year. An evangelist appears at the location but no more theatrical bookings appear at that location which becomes full-time retail.

dallasmovietheaters commented about Twilight Drive-In on May 6, 2015 at 9:58 am

Technically, the Twilite Drive-In. For those interested, you can go to historic aerials and enter the address 1538 Brightwood, New Philadelphia OH to see its spot that has the drive-ins footprint to 1985. Launched in 1947 and rebuilt/rebranded as the New Twilite beginning in 1967.

dallasmovietheaters commented about Marion Theatre on May 5, 2015 at 3:28 pm

Architected by J. Lewis Ellis, the Marion was opened Oct. 20, 1914 with 700 seats. Its first film was, “My Official Wife.” The Marion Photo-Play Company was in charge. The Photo-Play Company got in financial difficulty in October of 1928 closing the Marion as the theater went into receivership. Its closing was just for ten days as there was a larger deal coming to get the theater in the hands of Paramount / Famous Players which operated the theater from 1929 to 1932. Not surprisingly, the theater would host “Paramount Week.” But the theater closed and was re-opened before being sold to Mid-Ohio Theaters Circuit. The Marion was surging in 1952 at 5,000 customers a week. But attendance would plummet in 1953 and – just three years after its high flying days – it would close for good in 1955. The nearby State Theater closed two years later.

dallasmovietheaters commented about Joy Theatre on May 5, 2015 at 9:37 am

The Oakland Theatre Building was architected by Fred D. Jacobs and completed with its grand opening in October of 1922 and named after the Oakland Height neighborhood in Marion. Eight operators would find out the hard way that neighborhood theater operation was tough sledding in Marion as the theater seemed closed as much as opened in a checkered 26 years of service. Though the theater’s address was at 764 Davids in the Oakland Heights neighborhood, the mixed retail/residential building had numerous addresses containing apartments on the second floor and a number of businesses on the main floor. It was described as a superstructure taking up an entire block at Belafontaine Ave. and Davids. The 400-seat theater appears to initially be under the ownership of the Marion Photo-Play Company which operated the Marion, Grand and Orpheum at some point. The Oakland shut down in the summers in its formative years. Benefit screenings and lectures were part of the theater’s apparently unsuccessful run.

Marion’s movie industry goes into financial tumult in the late 1920s. The Oakland Theatre closed and, in 1928, new owner Reuben Maxson who had three theaters in Celina signed a ten-year lease and arranged for an extensive $15,000 remodeling of the Oakland which included a Japanese tea room, the neighboring New Oakland Sweet Shop silver screen, upholstered seats and an electric Kilgen & Son Wonder Organ with hundreds of pipes to be played by Dorothy Wilson of WAIU radio. On May 28, 1928, the rebranded “New Oakland” launched with “The Gaucho.” The theater struggled and went into receivership though sold to W.C. Barry of Marion in early October of 1928. Maxson’s remaining two Celina theaters were closed as a result of the deal and the Sweet Shop was cut loose from the Oakland’s operation. The theater was rebranded as “The Oakland Theatre.” Two weeks later the Marion Photo-Play company closed the Marion and had to sell off its two remaining theaters, the Grand and Orpheum. The owner, John J. Huebner, would re-open the Marion later. The Oakland was retrofitted for sound showing “Abie’s Irish Rose” on July 19, 1929. Following the January 20, 1930 shows, the Oakland closes.

From 1931-1933, a news article states that the Oakland becomes the Mimes Playhouse presenting live stage plays before moving onward. On April 12, 1936, Harry A. Galenes the Oakland Theatre with “The Mighty Barnum” and “Air Hawks.” Soon after, the Oakland closed again. Then on August 14, 1936, the theater reopened with A. Milo DeHaven formerly of the Charkeres Theater Circuit. The theater’s re-re-re-re-opening film was Jack Benny’s “It’s in the Air.” The theater closes and reopens late in September of 1936 with “Mr. Deeds Goes to Town.” The theater closes again and under its sixth owner, E.A. Ballou is rebranded as “The Oak” opening with “The Roaring Twenties” on Feb. 29, 1940. That appears to last about one month.

The theater opened again in April of 1948 under owner C.E. Harvey who renamed it the Joy Theater. The theater went from 400 to 348 seats in the redesign. “Red Stallion” launched the Joy on April 14, 1948. But there was little joy for the Joy and the theater closed. The Oakland/Joy became a church identified as within the Oakland Theater Building until 1957. (So the entry can definitely stay as the Oakland Theater.) Foursquare Gospel is in the building until 1953 and Christ Gospel appears to be in the space until 1957. No further businesses listings, theatrical bookings or services appear at the location after that date.

dallasmovietheaters commented about Star Vue Drive-In on May 3, 2015 at 6:56 pm

Moxley & Moxley Theaters started the Starvue Drive-In launching with “Fury at Furnace Creek” on October 4, 1949. The Moxleys would sell out to the McCuthchens who had owned the Gem and still had the Roxy and Ritz Theaters in Blytheville. On May 29, 1969, the Malco Theater Circuit purchased the Roxy and Starvue from May McCutchen (the Ritz had closed at the end of 1966). Malco quickly drew ire for two X-rated features at the Starvue and pretty much stuck to the hits though running exploitation fare in 1977 if not beyond before closing, being demolished and becoming a car dealership.

dallasmovietheaters commented about Roxy Theatre on May 3, 2015 at 6:00 pm

The Home Theatre launched April 18, 1924 and got its name from a contest winner announced March 20, 1924 by H.S. Foster who received an annual pass to the theatre. A fire in December of 1931 at the neighboring Smith-Simon Building caused the city to inspect the Home Theatre which was condemned though officially not for fire damage. The fire led to a lawsuit to determine damages to both buildings ($30k for Simon and $10k for Home Theatre).

The Roxy Amusement Company repaired the Home Theatre and renamed it the Roxy but, according to the news article, only operated it for a few months before selling to the most well known local movie house operators in Mr. O.W. and Mrs. May McCutchen of the Gem and the Ritz (and, later, the Starvue Drive-In). During the summer months, the Roxy was closed due to lack of air conditioning and the McCutchens would overhaul the Roxy having a grand re-opening in 1933. They had some air cooling now in place and spent about $10,000 refurbishing the Roxy.

In 1956, the Roxy was retrofitted to play CinemaScope and VistaVision amongst it widescreen offerings. Following the Saturday midnight showings of “Sun Lovers Holiday” on Sept. 24, 1966, there are no more mentions or bookings for the Roxy. In 1967, an evangelist hosts a revival there and that appears to be it for the veteran theater space.

dallasmovietheaters commented about La Plaza Theater on May 2, 2015 at 5:30 am

Giouse “Sony” Martini was a veteran movie theater operator in Galveston with his Martini Theatre as well as the Booker T. Washington and this theater, The George W. Carver Theater which played films beginning in 1940 for African American audiences. In 1959, Mateo Vela buys the Carver and switches to Hispanic films under its new name of the Rey Theater. Martini apparently uses the Booker T for a period of running African American films before returning mainstream until that theater’s apparent closure in 1968. Back at the Rey, Vela refines the theater’s name for Hispanic audiences as Teatro Rey and sometimes the redundant Teatro Rey Theatre from 1963 until he sold the Rey in 1973.

It runs under Teatro Rey for five more years. Likely under new and final ownership as a movie theater, on June 22, 1978, the theater changes names to La Plaza Theatre and continues with Hispanic films. Following an April 22, 1979 booking, the theater appears to have gone dark and is listed as for sale in classified listings soon after running from 1979 to 1981. An impressive 20-year Hispanic run and a nearly 40-year cinematic run for the Carver/Rey/La Plaza. The building is purchased in 1988 for the purpose of conversion to non-theater interests.

dallasmovietheaters commented about Lyric Theatre on May 1, 2015 at 12:41 pm

The Rex Theater opened on July 2, 1930 with “On with the Show” with both Vitaphone and Movietone sound equipment. The “New” Rex Theatre opened August 2, 1935 and the original Rex became the Lyric. The Lyric’s last movie listings were in 1962 before becoming a church later in the decade.

dallasmovietheaters commented about Rex Theatre on May 1, 2015 at 12:35 pm

The “New” Rex Theatre opened August 2, 1935 with 500 seats downs stairs at 25 cents each and 350 in the balcony at 15 cents each. The 16’ by 20’ screen showed Will Rogers’ Judge Priest. The New Rex replaced the former Rex Theater which had just opened five years earlier on July 2, 1930 at 3503 W. 6th Ave. with “On with the Show” with both Vitaphone and Movietone sound equipment. It would become the Lyric which was open into the 1960s before becoming a church. On February 18, 1956, the newer Rex closed with “She Wore a Yellow Ribbon” and “The Night Holds Terror.”

dallasmovietheaters commented about Navarro Twin Drive-In on May 1, 2015 at 10:09 am

The grand opening for the Navarro Drive-In which launched with “Swiss Family Robinson” was on August 6, 1948. The 10-acre site was purchased by Maurice Cole of the Texas Drive-In Theatre Operators circuit. The Navarro would come close to delivering its twin screen in time for the 25th anniversary. It narrowly missed advertising as “Second Screen coming soon” in its ads. The Navarro hired Glenn Vaughn away from the Corsicana Twin Cinema – former Jerry Lewis Twin Cinema – giving the Navarro an experienced hand managing a dual-screen operation. Screen two / the Twin launched Sept. 20, 1973 with “Paper Moon” and “Bad Company” while a Burt Reynolds and Clint Eastwood double feature played on the original screen.

dallasmovietheaters commented about Valley Drive-In on May 1, 2015 at 7:09 am

Architected by Hammond and Company, Charles A. Richter and Frederick Martin’s $75,000 Valley Drive-In was showy. The Spanish Colonial architecture, gaudy colors, neon, and landscaping made a nice backdrop for theater-goers and passers by, alike. Composed of brick, steel, concrete and glass brick with maroon accents, the theater tower was best remembered for its tropical palm mural. The 38x52 foot screen had a black matte and a sliver screen projection area. In addition to its 300 spaces, there is a long row of benches for people without cars (which can be seen in one of the photos). Richter claimed to have built the third ever drive-in in the USA. In 1948, Richter became president of the Independent Drive-In Theaters Association located in Austin, TX. The original co-owner of the Valley, Frederick Martin, is listed as its sole owner later that year.

Good call on the closing Drive-In 54: The year-round operation appears to have ceased operations just after its 15th anniversary celebration. The last showtimes advertised were on Feb. 22, 1960 with “The Diary of Anne Frank.” The land was leased from a local farmer which may indicate the end of a 15-year agreement.