Lake Air Drive-In

8335 NW 39th Expressway,
Bethany, OK 73008

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Lake Air Drive-In Theater Screen

The Lake Air Drive-In opened on April 18, 1950 with Donald O'Connor in “Francis” and closed at the end of the 1967 season.

Contributed by Jack Hunter

Recent comments (view all 15 comments)

missmelbatoast on January 14, 2011 at 4:59 pm

Shown on this informative link are recent snapshots of the former LakeAire Drive-In Theatre …

MichaelKilgore on February 23, 2019 at 1:23 am

The Motion Picture Almanacs listed the Lake Air under Oklahoma City.

MPA drive-in list summary:

  • 1950-59: capacity 506, owner R. E. & C. B. McFarland
  • 1960-66: capacity 506, owner Robert Barton
  • 1969-76: capacity 506, no owner info
  • 1977: off the list

The May 19, 1951 Daily Oklahoman reported a recent storm that “tore up the screen of the Lake Air drive-in theater on the site of the old Lakeside golf course.”

MichaelKilgore on February 23, 2019 at 1:31 am

The Okie Mod Squad web site has a couple of photos of the ruins, posted in August 2018, as well as more notes about the Lake Air.

The site says the golf range morphed into the drive-in in 1950. “According to one expert, ‘It was built by Robert and Charles Mc Farland and sold to local theater magnet, Robert Lewis Barton in 1959.’ … The drive-in closed after the 1967 season and became a go-cart track then a golf range again and maybe even a church before being abandoned altogether in the early 2000s.”

Kenmore on February 23, 2019 at 10:28 pm

The projection booth/concession stand that is shown in the photos and appears in a 2015 Google Street View appears to have been demolished from the latest overhead Google Map view.

MichaelKilgore on June 6, 2019 at 12:48 am

The June 10, 1950 issue of BoxOffice reported that the “Lake-Air, owned by R. E. and C. B. McFarland, a 600-car situation at Oklahoma City,” opened in April.

KenParker on February 7, 2020 at 12:55 pm

I lived and worked there in the 50’s & 60’s

MichaelKilgore on October 21, 2021 at 3:09 pm

Motion Picture Herald, April 29, 1950: “The city’s newest drive-in theatre, Lake-Air, at the old Lakeside golf course, opened last Tuesday with “Francis” on the screen. Built and to be operated by R. E. and C. B. McFarland, it is one of the three drive-ins to have its projection booth at the rear of a 600-car lot instead of in the center of the parking area.”

By “last Tuesday,” the MPH meant April 18, 1950:

Grand Opening ad for the Lake Air Drive-InGrand Opening ad for the Lake Air Drive-In 18 Apr 1950, Tue The Daily Oklahoman (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma)

rivest266 on October 29, 2022 at 5:22 pm

Grand opening ad posted.

Kenmore on October 29, 2022 at 5:58 pm

The marquee, which last appeared in an April 2019 Google Street View was removed by March 2021.

66gal on October 29, 2022 at 6:56 pm

It was donated to the Billboard Museum Association by the McFarland family. The City of Bethany wanted it removed.

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