Wilburton Auto Theatre

5947 Bowers Road,
Wilburton, OK 74578

150 cars

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: K. Lee Williams Theaters Inc.

Previous Names: New Drive-In, Sunset Drive-In

Nearby Theaters

Opened as the New Drive-In in November of 1952 it retained that name into 1953 and became the Sunset Drive-In in 1954.

Contributed by Jeff Chapman

Recent comments (view all 6 comments)

whorton
whorton on July 13, 2012 at 6:43 pm

Had to have been the:

Sunset Drive-in

Unable to locate on topo map or satellite photo

1955 Theatre Catalog lists K. Lee Williams of Sevier Theatres bldg. De Queen Ark. C150

Not a big drive in, to be sure. Given the only listing I found was the 55 theatre catalog, I doubt it was around long. .

Wesley Horton AIDA

dansdriveintheater
dansdriveintheater on October 21, 2018 at 7:52 am

found it!

appoxamite adress wass bettas rd and highway 270 wilberton ok 74578

please update.

Kenmore
Kenmore on June 9, 2022 at 4:22 am

Can we get some confirmation of the drive-in address in Wilburton?

A 1955 aerial doesn’t show anything near the address listed. And since there are leaves on the trees in the aerial, there should be some indication of a drive-in that was operational in May of 1955.

Kenmore
Kenmore on June 10, 2022 at 8:57 pm

A closer address is 5757 U.S. 270, Wilburton, Oklahoma.

This places it right on the drive-in. You can still see the outline of the drive-in on Google Maps. But nothing else seems to remain save perhaps for the footings of the screen.

https://tinyurl.com/25uysbbc

Kenmore
Kenmore on June 10, 2022 at 9:01 pm

The description of the drive-in as found in the contribution section,

“Reflecting natural foliage found in surrounding mountain terrain, landscaping for this outdoor theatre was composed of evergreen plants, bordered by plenty of towering pine trees.”

is way, way off if this is indeed the same drive-in.

The 1955 aerial shows no plants or pine trees anywhere close to the drive-in which sits on level ground well away from the hills that are much closer to the town itself.

dallasmovietheaters
dallasmovietheaters on June 11, 2022 at 12:12 am

The New Drive-In Theatre opened in November of 1952 by Jack McReynolds. He closed for the season just ten days later. It operated again as the New Drive-In Theatre in 1953 but was sold to Mr. and Mrs. Kinsel Tucker who operated it as the Sunset Drive-In in 1954. Mrs. Tucker sold it in 1955 to the K. Lee Williams circuit which operated the town’s hardtop theater in downtown Wilburton. That change took place on May 19, 1955 with a new widescreen tower, stereo sound and a double-feature of “Outlaw Stallion” and “Prisoner of War.” The ozoner preferred to show CinemaScope titles.

That’s what is known and verifiable. I don’t have any idea what the paragraph above is referring to with tall pine trees, et al. The naming is correct with Wilburton Auto Theatre, formerly Sunset Drive-In. It just needs an also known as the New Drive-In and less about the trees and architecture.

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