Elevate Chama Drive-In

555 US Highway 64/84,
Chama, NM 87520

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Elevate Chama Drive-In (Official)

Additional Info

Functions: Movies (First Run)

Previous Names: Chama Drive-In, Kelly's Drive-In

Phone Numbers: Box Office: 575.756.1000
Manager: 575.209.0312

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Elevate Chama Drive-In

In the August 11, 1996, Albuquerque Journal, Toby Smith had a sidebar that named many of the state’s closed drive-in theaters. “One drive-in, in Chama,” he wrote, “called itself Kelly’s, after the resident who owned it”.

Kelly’s Drive-In was opened by October 1961. Aerial photos from 1981 show a small drive-in just west of Rio Chamita on present-day US 64 near its intersection with State Highway 17. The screen, projection building and faint ramps were still visible in 2021.

It was reopened in June 2022.

Contributed by Michael Kilgore

Recent comments (view all 6 comments)

MichaelKilgore on December 14, 2021 at 1:32 pm

Thanks to help from the great folks at the New Mexico Department of Transportation, I have one more data point. I’ve uploaded a photo showing that Kelly’s was intact, apparently open, in October 1961.

MichaelKilgore on April 18, 2022 at 11:11 pm

Is this drive-in active? Darned if I know, but I see that the Chama Valley Chamber of Commerce held a Scare-Fest triple feature there on Oct. 31, 2021.

Also, this is one of several mentions I’ve seen calling this the “Chama Drive-In.” Maybe CT could add that as an alternate name?

Kenmore on April 19, 2022 at 1:18 pm

Given that the ad describes it as the “old Charma Drive-In”, that indicates it is closed. Especially since there is no “new” Charma theater around.

This happened in Enid, Oklahoma a few years ago when a long-closed drive-in had a movie shown on its screen shortly before it was torn down.

MichaelKilgore on June 7, 2022 at 5:17 pm

It’s time to change the Chama Drive-In’s status to active. As I type, it’s selling tickets for Jurassic World: Dominion for Thursday-Sunday nights in the next two weeks, and there’s every indication shows will continue the rest of the summer.

MichaelKilgore on August 15, 2022 at 4:59 pm

Now an organization called Elevate Chama is in charge of the drive-in, which is still active. It has a Facebook presence, and its main web page says that the drive-in’s address is 555 US Highway 64/84.

Kenmore on August 15, 2022 at 9:37 pm

555 US Highway 64 works for Google Maps, it puts the marker almost right on the screen.

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