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Drive-in Theatre, Post Oak @ West Alabama


HouNative56

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What was the name of the drive-in theatre that was located generally where the Williams Tower water wall is now (Galleria)? From my house in Afton Oaks, in the late 1950's-early 1960's, we could see the screen. Is anyone old enough to have gone there? Thanks.

Afton Oaks. When did it get developed? I always thought it was a really neat old neighborhood.

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  • 1 year later...

What was the name of the drive-in theatre that was located generally where the Williams Tower water wall is now (Galleria)? From my house in Afton Oaks, in the late 1950's-early 1960's, we could see the screen. Is anyone old enough to have gone there? Thanks.

I went to that Drive-In sometime around 1957-58...I saw Rebel Without a Cause there...sitting down at the front playground area..after the ending credits, they played Link Ray's Rumble to exiting carloads of crying teen-aged girls (my sister).

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JGRIFF: Would it be possible for you to share that photo here? I checked the link you posted but could not access p. 286. Would love to see the photo of the drive-in next to KPRC! Was there many times as a child, brings back so many memories. If you can't post the photo, is the only way to see it by purchasing the book? Thanks so much!

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JGRIFF: Would it be possible for you to share that photo here? I checked the link you posted but could not access p. 286. Would love to see the photo of the drive-in next to KPRC! Was there many times as a child, brings back so many memories. If you can't post the photo, is the only way to see it by purchasing the book? Thanks so much!

The photo in question is one of many photos in a comprehensive and exhaustive book called "Houston Freeways", by Erik Slotboom. Sadly, the author says there are almost no copies left to be sold. But not to worry. He put the whole book in its entirety on the Internet as an "E-Book" in 2005.

Here's a link to it. Just click on Chapter 5 - The Loops. It's in a large PDF file, so scroll down to page 15 to see the photo we're talking about here.

http://www.houstonfreeways.com/ebook.aspx

The most amazing thing about this photo taken in 1960 was how "out in the country" that area was just 50 years ago. It was mostly scattered residential, with almost none of the commercial development it's known for now. We can see the beginnings of the Windsor Plaza shopping center on Richmond between Post Oak and Sage, but none of the Galleria existed then.

This E-Book on the history of Houston Freeways is one of the most fascinating books I've ever read. It's worth it to spend time going through it because the author provided tons of old photos -- ground level and aerial -- showing what the areas looked like before the freeways and loops were built, and how they changed during and after the construction.

I've bookmarked it as a Favorite because it's not just a history of the freeways, it's a political/social/economic history of Houston, and how it became the megalopolis it is now. Slotboom is an excellent urban historian, and Houston Freeways is a fantastic reference book to have at your fingertips.

Footnote: This guy Erik Slotboom -- who wrote this book and self-published it -- is a very bright young Texas A&M/U-T Austin engineer with an amazing ability to research history and make it interesting. It's amazing because "engineering education" and "literary skills" don't usually go together. It's rare. And refreshing.

Footnote2: Just above that aerial photo of the West Loop and 59 under construction, on page 14 of the PDF file, there's an incredible photo of that cloud of ammonia gas rising above the 59/West Loop interchange, only a minute or so after an ammonia tanker truck went off the freeway and crashed in 1976. It was taken by a man in his office in the Galleria. Five people died and hundreds were hospitalized.

Edited by FilioScotia
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