Greeley Drive-In

920 47th Avenue,
Greeley, CO 80634

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Westland Theaters Inc.

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Greeley Drive-In

This drive-in was located in a valley-like parcel of land on the Colorado plains. The Greeley Drive-In was opened August 21, 1948. A Wal-Mart now occupies the site…this was constructed around 2002/2003. According to a Greeley Tribune Newspaper advertisement talking about the Wal-Mart store being constructed “The Greeley Drive-In closed in the early-1980’s”.

For many years while the land sat vacant, local kids would sled from the top of the bluffs down to the valley below (where the drive-in sat).

This theater was at one time owned and operated by Emmett and Ethel Savard, both of whom are now deceased.

Contributed by Anthony L. Hernandez

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

dallasmovietheaters on May 26, 2015 at 11:12 am

The 425-space Greeley Drive-In launched August 14, 1948 by Rudolph W. Meyer. In 1953, Westland Theatres took on the Greeley. By 1956 Emmett and Ethel Savard were the owners of the theater and the operation was under the creative Cactus Jack. The theater adopted a rural-theme which included Rooster Catch Night when roosters were turned loose in the lot and you could keep any you caught. The concession area was called the Chuck House and the box office was called the Ticket Chute. Drive-up church services and car washes were offered during the run of the veteran ozoner.

On June 15, 1956, the original screen was knocked over in a wind storm. The screen was replaced by an improved 105' CinemaScope capable widescreen. capacity increased to 600 cars. The theater’s biggest success came with 1970’s “Airport” which played for a month as did “The Godfather.” The theater lasted into the home video era of the 1980s before being replaced by a Wal-Mart store.

MichaelKilgore on July 13, 2019 at 8:17 am

The August 18, 1948 issue of The Exhibitor relayed this tardy news, “Irving Gilmore is building a 500-car drive-in at Greeley, Colo.”

davidcoppock on July 13, 2019 at 10:29 am

Opened with “Daddy long legs”, and “Return to Treasure Island”.

MichaelKilgore on September 19, 2019 at 7:06 am

Boxoffice, April 16, 1949: “GREELEY, COLO. – Changes in the Greeley Drive-In, which recently reopened for the season, include addition of wings on each side of the screen to close out the tower and traffic lights. The fence has also been improved to prevent lights from incoming cars shining on those already parked. Other improvements have been made in the restrooms, boxoffice and snack bar. The Greeley is located on Highway 34 across from the Greeley Country club. Owners Emmett Savard and R. W. Meyer also plan to landscape the front of the area later in the season.”

Boxoffice, Feb. 1, 1960: “Emmett Savard, owner of the Greeley Drive-In, has moved his offices to the swanky 655 Broadway Bldg.”

MichaelKilgore on June 27, 2020 at 11:53 am

The Greeley Daily Tribune ran a story on Aug. 9, 1948 that co-owners Emmett W. Savard and Rudolph Meyer would open a drive-in “soon,” contrasting that with the Motorena’s announced (and later achieved) Aug. 21 opening date. “The theater, which is located on 10 acres, will be equipped to accommodate 400 cars for the present, but when entirely completed will handle 800 automobiles. The screen, which is 40x60, will face to the north, away from the highway.”

The Greeley’s first ad in the Daily Tribune wasn’t until Wed., Sept. 8, 1948. It didn’t mention anything about a grand opening, but “Now Showing” was “Swiss Family Robinson” and “‘Neath Canadian Skies.”

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