West Drive-In

737 Kipling Street,
Lakewood, CO 80215

750 cars

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Wolfberg Theatres

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West Drive-In

The West Drive-In was a single screen accomodating 750 cars. It opened on July 17, 1948 with Errol Flynn in “The Adventures of Robin Hood” & Frances Langford in “All American Coed”. Still operating in 1980.

Contributed by Chuck

Recent comments (view all 14 comments)

MichaelKilgore
MichaelKilgore on July 13, 2017 at 2:07 pm

I drove past it earlier this week, and the speaker poles are still there.

kennyjames
kennyjames on June 20, 2018 at 2:15 pm

The telephone directories always listed the West drive-in’s address as 601 Kipling. I vote for 737, it makes more sense ! :) Strangely, a few years after the West closed, its screen was set on fire on 7/17/89 – the 41st anniversary of their opening night ! If anybody has questions about the Denver area’s drive-ins or indoor theatres, I am putting together a series of books on the subject. I’d be happy to share my research with you. Thanks ! – Ken Mitchell

MichaelKilgore
MichaelKilgore on April 16, 2019 at 12:51 pm

I agree that 737 is a much better choice for marking the entrance. My guess about its historic address: The West occupied everything between 6th and 8th avenues. Since it could choose its address anywhere in-between, it wanted an association with the better-known artery of 6th Avenue rather than 8th, a simple side street.

I was there this morning, and the driveway from the 6th Avenue outer road is as well-preserved as the Kipling driveway, but old aerial photos show that when the West began, its only connections were to Kipling. The outer road driveway was apparently added in the 1980s or 1990s.

Kenmore
Kenmore on April 16, 2019 at 7:21 pm

A 1963 aerial shows the original entrance to be closer to the one listed in the telephone directory. It has what looks like the standard ticket booth w/roof on that road.

By 1964, the creation of the cloverleaf had removed that entrance. So, the northern exit road became the new entrance.

There will always be a debate about whether the original entrance road, the last entrance road the drive-in had before closing, or the current address of the property is the “correct” one. I prefer the latter if only because the purpose of the address is to accurately identify the location as it is today. But I understand that others may see it differently.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on June 10, 2019 at 10:41 pm

Easter Sunrise Service 1949 print ad added courtesy Jon Reed.

davidcoppock
davidcoppock on June 11, 2019 at 12:30 am

This drive-in had the World premiere of the movie “Colarado Territory.

kennyjames
kennyjames on August 31, 2019 at 2:41 pm

David – I have the premiere of Colorado Territory in my notes ! It played at the West from 6/3/49 until 6/9/49. Virginia Mayo made a personal appearance at the West on 6/3/49.

MichaelKilgore
MichaelKilgore on November 18, 2019 at 2:50 pm

Motion Picture Herald, June 21, 1947: “Denver Drive-In Corporation, just completing one drive-in here (the East in Aurora), has acquired land for another on west side of Denver.”

MichaelKilgore
MichaelKilgore on July 23, 2020 at 2:43 pm

The Grand Opening ad for the West “across from arms plant” on July 17, 1948 included “The Adventures of Robin Hood” with Errol Flynn, “All American Coed” with Frances Langford, “And All-Color Cartoon”.

kennyjames
kennyjames on September 10, 2020 at 12:45 pm

I’ve put together a booking history for the West Drive-in, from 1948 up to 1978 so far, in case anyone might like to know when a particular movie played there. I’ll be happy to share my research with you. Take care – Ken Mitchell ()

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