Phoenix Drive-In

3600 E. Van Buren Avenue,
Phoenix, AZ 85008

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Harry L. Nace Theatres

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Phoenix Drive-In

The Phoenix Drive-In opened on February 29, 1940 with Norma Shearer in “The Women”. The car capacity was initially 600 cars. It is said that this was the first drive-in built in Phoenix. The drive-in was owned by Harry L. Nace Theatres. It was later expanded to hold around 800 cars.

The Phoenix Drive-In closed in 1983 and has since been levelled.

Contributed by Chuck

Recent comments (view all 4 comments)

MichaelKilgore on May 19, 2019 at 9:20 pm

From the June 12, 2015 Arizona Republic:

The Phoenix Drive-In Theatre is an example of how drive-in theaters evolved. Speakers were first located in the ground and later migrated onto poles. A concession stand was added. The size of the screen grew and the number of parking slots doubled over time to about 800.

MichaelKilgore on December 11, 2019 at 8:46 pm

Boxoffice, Dec. 9, 1950: “PHOENIX – The Phoenix Drive-In Theatre on Van Buren street reopened recently with new car speakers, redecorated marquee, and added landscaping. The new speakers replaced the earlier horn system that was installed when the Phoenix was the first outdoorer in the valley.”

davidcoppock on April 27, 2020 at 3:38 pm

Soft opening(preview) on 28/2/1940 with selected short subjects(not named) and “The Women”. Same programme for the offical opening on 29/2/1940.

MichaelKilgore on March 1, 2024 at 10:28 am

Boxoffice, June 17, 1939: “PHOENIX, ARIZ. - A drive-in theatre with a capacity of 600 cars will go into construction here immediately, the first such theatre in the state. K. C. Hooker is president of the new company, with Seth Perkins, who is president of the California Drive-In Theatre Corp., functioning as general manager and director of operations.”

Boxoffice, May 4, 1940: “Phoenix - Seth Perkins has opened his Drive-In theatre. It has a 300-car capacity and is the first theatre of its kind in this state.”

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