East 70 Drive-In

12819 E. Colfax Avenue,
Aurora, CO 80011

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Wolfberg Theatres

Previous Names: Drive-In, East Drive-In

Nearby Theaters

1975 photo credit & copyright Save the Signs, via their Facebook page of the same name.

Opened on July 4, 1947 as the Drive-In. The opening movies were Groucho Marx in “A Night in Casablanca” & Gale Storm in “Sunbonnet Sue”. In 1948 it was renamed East Drive-In. I lived behind the East Drive-In when it was in full operation (1955-1964). Many of us worked there during the summer washing windshields for tips and walking the back rows to clear out stragglers.

We had many a play hour there during the day, since the layout was quite amenable to go-karts. We would race from Colfax Street to the entrance booth and whip around the corner into the vast sea of speakers on poles. The East Drive-In was closed in February 1965 and reopened on May 12, 1965 as the East 70 Drive-In.

I happened to drive by on a visit to Aurora the day the wrecking crew was committing architectural homicide on the place and felt a genuine loss. I’m sure it was living on life support, but I still hated to see it go.

The North, South, East, West and Monaco drive-in’s were part of the Compass chain of Wolfberg Theatres when I was there. The East 70 Drive-In had an 850-car capacity and closed at the end of the 1995 season.

Contributed by John Gillen

Recent comments (view all 43 comments)

davidcoppock on March 29, 2020 at 5:03 am

The site might now be the car park for the Childrens Hospital Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus(it’s fan shaped like the drive-in’s ramps)?

MichaelKilgore on May 3, 2020 at 1:13 pm

Thanks to HistoricAerials.com’s easy-to-use tools, we know that the East’s ramps persisted on the south side of Colfax through a 2011 aerial photo, but became a surface parking lot by 2013. The lot it became appears perfectly rectangular in my eyes, both in overall shape and in its rows of parking spaces. The fan-shaped lot is much closer to the hospital, on the other side of Colfax.

davidcoppock on May 4, 2020 at 12:16 am

Opened with “A night in Casablanca” and “Sunbonnet Sue”.

kennyjames on September 10, 2020 at 9:44 am

I’ve put together a booking history for the East Drive-in, from 1947 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 ()

rivest266 on April 5, 2024 at 1:45 pm

Closed in February 1965 and reopened as East 70 Drive-In on May 12th, 1965. Ad posted.

rivest266 on April 8, 2024 at 8:21 am

Last season: 1989.

rivest266 on April 8, 2024 at 2:51 pm

Last season was not in 1989, but sold to new owners in 1989. Still active 1994. checking later years..

kennerado on April 8, 2024 at 3:46 pm

approximate address is now 12800 E Colfax Ave - this points to the entrance road, which still exists.

50sSNIPES on April 8, 2024 at 5:40 pm

It was still open in 1994, but was demolished by 1999 judging by aerials.

rivest266 on April 8, 2024 at 10:53 pm

Double checked the Post archives, last season: 1995.

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