Kit Carson Drive-In

926 Paseo Del Pueblo Sur,
Taos, NM 87571

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Dollison Theaters

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Kit Carson Drive-In

The Kit Carson Drive-In sat on the SE side of the town. It was open in May 1956. On April 22, 1969 the screen was blown down. In March 1970 it was taken over by Dollison Theatres. It closed on September 1, 1984 with Harrison Ford in “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom”.

Today, a Wal-Mart sits on the property with no traces of the drive-in left.

Contributed by Ken McElhaney

Recent comments (view all 6 comments)

MichaelKilgore on May 27, 2019 at 6:58 pm

From the April 28, 1956 Motion Picture Herald:

H. F. Taylor is building a 300-car drive-in at Taos, N. M., for a May 10 opening. Arch Boardman is doing the booking and buying.

Followed by the June 1, 1956 Motion Picture Herald:

H. Ford Taylor has opened his new 247-car Kit Carson drive-in, Taos, N. M.

MichaelKilgore on January 17, 2020 at 1:57 pm

Boxoffice, Aug. 10, 1957: “A bolt of lightning ripped through the Kit Carson drive-in, Taos, N. M., digging a ditch up to three feet deep across the ozoner. The storm took place in the afternoon. A bulldozer was utilized to put the ramps back in shape for the show at night.”

MichaelKilgore on February 7, 2020 at 12:37 pm

Boxoffice, July 2, 1962: “William Beutler is taking over operation of the Kit Carson Drive-In from the former operator, H. F. Taylor.”

Boxoffice, May 18, 1964: “The screen tower of the Kit Carson Drive-In, Taos, N.M., was blown down and owner William Beutler expects to have a new screen installed within a few weeks”

MichaelKilgore on February 10, 2020 at 2:54 pm

Boxoffice, April 20, 1970: “The Kit Carson Drive-In … was acquired in mid-March by Dollison Theatres, it was announced by president Les Dollison. … He said company policy dictates that X-rated movies not be shown on weekends, traditionally "family night” in his theatres."

MichaelKilgore on September 22, 2021 at 9:40 am

Taos News, Sept. 6, 1984: “When Kit Carson Drive-In’s screen faded Saturday night (Sept. 1) on "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom,” the drive-in scene may have gone dark in Taos County for good. Drive-in owner Les Dollison sold the four acres for a rumored $600,000 to Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. He is looking for another location, but associates say the cost of land and zoning restrictions may prohibit building anew. No one remembers the title of the first movie when the drive-in opened in 1954. The founder was a man remembered only as Mr. Taylor, a Texan, who later sold to Billy Buetler … Former manager Eddie Rimbert remembers screening R-rated movies briefly in the mid-70s. The 365-car parking lot would be deserted, but when a Disney film was on the screen, families packed the drive-in."

Later issues confirmed that the Wal-Mart began construction on the site in the summer of 1985. And that at least part of the Kit Carson’s old sign is now used for the Rodeo de Taos.

MichaelKilgore on December 16, 2022 at 10:12 am

Today, the Taos News ran a nice little interview with Margo Beutler Gins, daughter of the guy who owned the Kit Carson from 1962 to 1970. The only new detail I could find was the big wind, a dust devil or tornado, that blew down the screen on April 22, 1969.

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