Horseshoe Drive-In

Highway 83 and County Road 114,
Ballinger, TX 76821

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Horseshoe Theater Ballinger, TX  Circa 1975

The Horseshoe Drive-In was opened by Tommy Hall on March 16, 1950 with Dennis Morgan in “My Wild Irish Rose”. As told to me on a recent trip to Ballinger, a lifelong resident recalled going to the Horseshoe Drive-In as a kid in the early-1960’s. It was located south of town on Highway 83 where an abondoned auto junk yard now sits. It was closed on May 30, 1966 witrh Steve McQueen in “The Cincinnati Kid”. Long ago demolished, I could not see any remains of the drive-in.

Contributed by Don Lewis

Recent comments (view all 9 comments)

Don Lewis
Don Lewis on June 30, 2005 at 4:00 am

Hello lostmemory and thanks for your comment! A reply to Seth’s posting of the TEXAS theater in Ballinger appears to indicate that there was at one time, two separate drive ins there. Also the lady I spoke with kept referring to what is currently the TEXAS, as the PALACE, which lead me to beleive she knew what she was talking about. I am always very reluctant to post a theater that I have not personally seen, photographed, touched, or seen evidence of, but felt like the HORSESHOE had indeed been in Ballinger.

RobertR on June 30, 2005 at 4:10 am

So they tore down a drive-in to make a junk yard? Sad :(

Backseater on September 12, 2005 at 7:10 pm

There definitely was a Horseshoe Drive-in, South of Ballinger on the East side of US 83 south of the Colorado River bridge but not quite as far as Paint Rock. The first time I went there must have been about 1950 at the age of about 5 with my grandfather (Q.V. Miller, d. 1954). Saw many movies there while visiting through the 50s and into the 60s. The last time I saw it standing was the fall of 1967 when I drove up from San Antonio for a weekend visit. It was a large wooden screen building with a long narrow “apartment” in the bottom, built immediately post-WWII, like the Hillcrest North of Ballinger or the Fiesta in Winters (both q.v.) All the foregoing is true to the best of my knowledge and belief. Best wishes, good luck, and good counting to all.

Backseater on October 1, 2005 at 5:13 pm

The Hillcrest was North of town on the East side of Bronte Highway (not U.S. 83), a little North of the present-day high school. In the late 1980s it was an oil-field equipment junkyard, like many other Texas drive-ins at that time. The last time I saw it about 2002, it was a Miracle-Gro plant; but the original driveway was there, and a couple of showcases with posters from the closing bill still in place. Saw “Suddenly Last Summer” there in 1959 or 1960. I was only about 15 so it went clear over my head—probably just as well.

Don Lewis
Don Lewis on October 4, 2005 at 3:17 am

Hello W.H. and thanks for your comments! I have inlaws in Coleman and San Angelo. Do you live in or from the area. Please tell me more
at thanks -Don

Backseater on October 9, 2005 at 4:49 pm

I’m living in Dallas now, but still have relatives in Ballinger and go there on occasion. My mother grew up there and her youngest brother and his 4 kids and their families (and dogs and cats) are still there. Drop me a line if you like at Best wishes.

yrose on March 12, 2006 at 5:50 am

I grew up in Ballinger as a child and definately remember going to the HorseShoe and the HillCrest Drive-In’s. First movie i saw at the Horseshoe was Shenandoah……..remember it well! Can’t remember much more but that drive in was a definate! I also remember the location and until a few years ago the tall pipes remained standing where the screen was. I have 4 attached metal chairs… that sat at the concession stand. I bought them many many years ago. They will never be detached. We also had 3 walk-in theaters….wow. Ballinger Texas was surely hoppin then….HOW SAD….Suppose to be the friendliest town in texas….that’s bull! I’m back here but work in a neighboring town. Just have to pray daily that Miracle Grow plant doesn’t blow Ballinger off the map!

NYozoner on December 24, 2010 at 5:48 pm

The Horseshoe Drive-In was located on the northeast corner of the intersection of US 83 at County Road 114.

Here is an aerial photo from 1966 which clearly shows the location of this drive-in:

dallasmovietheaters on May 3, 2020 at 8:46 am

Tommy Hall’s Horseshoe Drive-In opened March 16, 1950 with “My Wild Irish Rose.” It closed May 30, 1966 with “The Cincinnati Kid.”

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