Zuni Drive-In

Aztec Avenue and Basilio Drive,
Gallup, NM 87301

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MichaelKilgore on October 15, 2021 at 6:17 pm

What year did the Zuni close? A list of Commonwealth managers in the July 28, 1980 issue of Boxoffice included Clinton McKinley at the Zuni, and a 1981 aerial photo showed the drive-in intact.

Commonwealth continued to include it in its Motion Picture Almanac circuit list entry (more reliable than the drive-in list) through the 1985 edition, dropping it in 1986. Since the MPA was published around the beginning of the stated year, that suggests that the Zuni may have been active in 1984.

MichaelKilgore on May 5, 2019 at 6:50 pm

I visited the site last week and uploaded a photo. A dozen wooden screen support stumps are still there with a few metal pole stubs near the front and the remnants of a wooden fence along the north side. The ramps are visible but overgrown.

MichaelKilgore on February 5, 2019 at 7:28 pm

Photos of the site at Historic Aerials verify that the drive-in existed there in 1962-1981. The next photo, 1997, shows that by then the elementary school lot had already carved out the south side of the drive-in viewing area.

Motion Picture Almanac mentions:

  • 1960-66, capacity 578, Frontier Theas.
  • 1969-76, capacity 578, (no owner info in these lists)
  • 1977-88, capacity 300, Commonwealth

The higher capacity number came from a time when a drive-in operator knew exactly how many speakers he had to maintain. The 1981 photo still showed the full-sized viewing area, so it’s possible that Commonwealth understated it.

dallasmovietheaters on January 28, 2018 at 2:40 pm

Launched June 4, 1957 with the film, “Canyon River”, the theatre shares its name with the Zuni Highway itself ultimately named after the Zuni people.

davidcoppock on January 20, 2018 at 4:25 pm

Why was it called Zuni?

Kenmore on November 4, 2017 at 3:03 pm

Found It!

The drive-in was located on the SE corner of Aztec Ave & Basilio Dr, Gallup, NM 87301, on the east side of town.

Today, the property is mostly empty and you can still see the ramps.