Tri-Circle Theatre

2801 Duportail Street,
Richland, WA 99352

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Tri-Circle Theatre

The Tri-Circle Theatre in Richland was one of a small handful of theatres in the United States that used the ‘Autocircle’ system, where individual cars could pull up to watch the movie on their own unique screen. The Tri-Circle Theatre opened on May 30, 1973 and had 120-screens, and opened as an adult drive-in. There is a newspaper clipping mentioning “Fritz The Cat”.

When I moved out of the area in the mid-1980’s as a teenager, my auntie had said there was a theatre “out in Richland” that showed porn. It had been torn down, and for years I couldn’t believe it existed until I found an article or two online.

The Tri-Circle Theatre was considered to be “just outside of Richland” and was off of U.S. Route 12. That route is now part of the Interstate 182. Technically, the theatre was considered to be on Kennedy Road, as the area was nothing but open fields. One would drive down Kennedy Road and find the entrance. That part of the road is now a drive-way towards a row of stores, and the drive-in was where Walmart sits today. in the Queensgate area of Richland.

I could not find an exact date of its closure, but it may have been sometime in 1981/1982.

Contributed by John Book

Recent comments (view all 2 comments)

Kris4077 on October 16, 2013 at 9:27 am

Check out this website with some pictures Of the Tri-Circle Autoscope Drive-In they are awesome

kennerado on May 27, 2020 at 4:49 am

Opened by Lloyd Honey on May 30th 1973, according to the book “Drive-in Theaters: A History from Their Inception in 1933” it actually had 120 screens and had a car radio sound system. It cost $70,000 to build.

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