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Houston Drive-In Theatres


dwelling

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I am working on a book about movie theatres and drive-ins in the Houston area. I am now in the final stages of the project and am trying to find photos of drive-ins for that chapter. Some, such as the Airline and I-45, are well covered. I am at a loss on others. I am especially interested in finding photos of the Thundirbird.

Does anyone have any photos of Drive-in theatres in the area that they would allow to be used for this project?

Thanks for any help on this project.

David Welling

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I am working on a book about movie theatres and drive-ins in the Houston area. I am now in the final stages of the project and am trying to find photos of drive-ins for that chapter. Some, such as the Airline and I-45, are well covered. I am at a loss on others. I am especially interested in finding photos of the Thundirbird.

Does anyone have any photos of Drive-in theatres in the area that they would allow to be used for this project?

Thanks for any help on this project.

David Welling

You can log onto DriveIns.Com. Click on Search Database and enter any Houston zip code. You'll see a long list of theatres. I'm interested in your book. Let me know when you've finished it. I'm also trying to find out about a closed-down drive-in theatre called the Winkler. It was located on the corner of Winkler Drive and Flowers Street. If you come across anything about that one I would appreciate it if you would let me know. My parents and I went to that drive-in theatre when I was a little kid. Someone said that there is still an old sign on Winkler Drive that points to where it was. I read that the physical address was 205 Winkler Drive. I think that a Home Depot store now occupies that spot of land.

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unfortunately, the only photos i have are fairly recent, empty parcels of land with a few remnants left...

epcin002.jpg

Generally, that is alll there is for the rare few that stand. The Epsom is about the only one that is intact, although unused, although in the Epsom's case, the tiny ticket booth is now a home, as evident by the mattress that had been squeezed in.

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  • 1 year later...
You can log onto DriveIns.Com. Click on Search Database and enter any Houston zip code. You'll see a long list of theatres. I'm interested in your book. Let me know when you've finished it. I'm also trying to find out about a closed-down drive-in theatre called the Winkler. It was located on the corner of Winkler Drive and Flowers Street. If you come across anything about that one I would appreciate it if you would let me know. My parents and I went to that drive-in theatre when I was a little kid. Someone said that there is still an old sign on Winkler Drive that points to where it was. I read that the physical address was 205 Winkler Drive. I think that a Home Depot store now occupies that spot of land.

Here's a screen image from yesteryear.

post-3393-1190066355.jpg

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Drive%20In%20Ads2.jpgDrive%20In%20Ads11.jpg

Drive%20In%20Ads7.jpgDrive%20In%20Ads9.jpg

Cool website of Drive In commercials! The music was always hip and upbeat, some were like cartoons of Beatnik's munching out on hot dogs, etc. I recall how vast, modern and space age the interior of the snack areas were. Fresh popcorn!

http://www.qualityinformationpublishers.co...&ProdID=315

Some in the hill country had playgrounds with swing sets and jungle gyms, etc. Remember?

Edited by Vertigo58
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South Main Drive-In Theater - South Main and Stella Link.

They had a small area for sitting outside your car. They had a small train that ran around the area in the front of the screen. They had a few mosquitos and (this is Texas) lots of bats. It was hard to hear the movie when the train passed behind on the theater. When the mosquito fogging truck drove up and down the rows of cars, the kids would chase it and play in the fog. Ah, my lungs throb just tinking about it.

Sharpstown Drive-In - Bisonnet(?) and Voss - Had huge fence to block out the shopping center lights across the street - Voss(it wasn't Hillcroft yet). Has a time capsule.

Thunderbird - Northwest Houston - Dollar Night was all the people you could jam in a car Monday evenings.

Winkler - You covered this one, but in its waning days one of its two screens showed adult films you could see from the 610 Loop. Something of a safety hazard.

I don't remember the name of this one, but it had 4 screens. - Located just east of where S. Main turned west toward Sugar Land. You could, for a while, drive from one screen to another to watch several movies.

La Marque Drive-In - you can still see the rows and entrance gate area.

Red Bluff Drive-In

Edited by jwphillips2
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I don't remember the name of this one, but it had 4 screens. - Located just east of where S. Main turned west toward Sugar Land. You could, for a while, drive from one screen to another to watch several movies.

McClendon Triple

There are several topics where all of these have been discussed. The dollar night deal ran for a good long time until the drive ins became too wild.

On the East side we had :

The Telephone Road Drive-In

Gulfway Drive-In (Hurricane Alicia bent over the screen)

best part was meeting other kids from other local high schools which could be good or bad at times. >:)

There was nothing like seeing a gigantic JAWS splashing around in a boodfest or Linda Blair spitting green pea soup on a huge panaramic screen though!

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South Main Drive-In Theater - South Main and Stella Link.

They had a small area for sitting outside your car. They had a small train that ran around the area in the front of the screen. They had a few mosquitos and (this is Texas) lots of bats. It was hard to hear the movie when the train passed behind on the theater. When the mosquito fogging truck drove up and down the rows of cars, the kids would chase it and play in the fog. Ah, my lungs throb just tinking about it.

Sharpstown Drive-In - Bisonnet(?) and Voss - Had huge fence to block out the shopping center lights across the street - Voss(it wasn't Hillcroft yet). Has a time capsule.

Thunderbird - Northwest Houston - Dollar Night was all the people you could jam in a car Monday evenings.

Winkler - You covered this one, but in its waning days one of its two screens showed adult films you could see from the 610 Loop. Something of a safety hazard.

I don't remember the name of this one, but it had 4 screens. - Located just east of where S. Main turned west toward Sugar Land. You could, for a while, drive from one screen to another to watch several movies.

La Marque Drive-In - you can still see the rows and entrance gate area.

Red Bluff Drive-In

I thought the Winkler had only one screen. Yes, I can see how an X-rated movie can be a safety hazard for a rubbernecking driver on the freeway. I would think that the screen would have been crystal clear from the Gulf Freeway. Someone on another topic said that he remembered being able to see X-rated movies through the tall fence at the Red Bluff.

If you go out and take photos of what those pieces of land look like now, you can post them on Drive-Ins.Com. Someone did that about the Telephone Road Drive-In Theatre. Then and now photos appear on the Bayou 3 Drive-In Theatre in LaMarque. Someone posted some good nostalgic photos of the Sharpstown Drive-In Theatre. The page on the IH-45 Drive-In Theatre said that it had eight screens, but the photo of the marquee shows six.

post-3393-1190129986.jpg

post-3393-1190130036.jpg

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South Main Drive-In Theater - South Main and Stella Link.

They had a small area for sitting outside your car. They had a small train that ran around the area in the front of the screen. They had a few mosquitos and (this is Texas) lots of bats. It was hard to hear the movie when the train passed behind on the theater. When the mosquito fogging truck drove up and down the rows of cars, the kids would chase it and play in the fog. Ah, my lungs throb just tinking about it.

Sharpstown Drive-In - Bisonnet(?) and Voss - Had huge fence to block out the shopping center lights across the street - Voss(it wasn't Hillcroft yet). Has a time capsule.

Thunderbird - Northwest Houston - Dollar Night was all the people you could jam in a car Monday evenings.

Winkler - You covered this one, but in its waning days one of its two screens showed adult films you could see from the 610 Loop. Something of a safety hazard.

I don't remember the name of this one, but it had 4 screens. - Located just east of where S. Main turned west toward Sugar Land. You could, for a while, drive from one screen to another to watch several movies.

La Marque Drive-In - you can still see the rows and entrance gate area.

Red Bluff Drive-In

The Sharpstown

Edited by LunaticFringe
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The Sharpstown drive-in was at Hillcroft and Bellaire.

The one further out on South Main was the McLendon Triple (3 screens). It's now an RV park.

You're right about both. I remember by driving, and I remember taking the north fork where Bisonnet and Bellaire converge. That would be Bellaire. My bad, it's been a while.

Voss changed to Hillcroft(at Westheimer) about the same time Piney Point changed to Fondren (at Westheimer).

The same McLendon Group who owned the rock-and-roll station KILT.

Thanks, LunaticFringe.

Edited by jwphillips2
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There is a load of old drive in intermission films on u-tube..

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_quer...p;search=Search

This one probably from 1960 judging from the vehicles.. Pretty good..

A full 10 min countdown flick, with extra tidbits, even a plug for the boy

scouts.. Go to church, see a doc once a year, etc, etc.. :/

Note the "Bar-B-Q.." Not exactly the tastiest looking slab of fat/meat I've

ever seen.. :( lol

This one is pretty low budget in comparison, and probably fairly old.. At

least back to the 50's I would think.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WQg1bIZesqk...ted&search=

MK

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There is a load of old drive in intermission films on u-tube..

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_quer...p;search=Search

This one probably from 1960 judging from the vehicles.. Pretty good..

A full 10 min countdown flick, with extra tidbits, even a plug for the boy

scouts.. Go to church, see a doc once a year, etc, etc.. :/

Note the "Bar-B-Q.." Not exactly the tastiest looking slab of fat/meat I've

ever seen.. :( lol

This one is pretty low budget in comparison, and probably fairly old.. At

least back to the 50's I would think.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WQg1bIZesqk...ted&search=

MK

These just blew me away! I want to buy the DVD's if available. I can never forget the chili hot dog commercial that always ended in "Get your Chili Dilli at our snack area!

and now let's all Enjoy a Fresca! :D

YOU MUST also check this one out!

Escape! Come on over to Royal Crown Cola! I remember this one well on TV and at the theater! circa 1967...

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_quer...p;search=Search

Edited by Vertigo58
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There is a load of old drive in intermission films on u-tube..

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_quer...p;search=Search

This one probably from 1960 judging from the vehicles.. Pretty good..

A full 10 min countdown flick, with extra tidbits, even a plug for the boy

scouts.. Go to church, see a doc once a year, etc, etc.. :/

Note the "Bar-B-Q.." Not exactly the tastiest looking slab of fat/meat I've

ever seen.. :( lol

This one is pretty low budget in comparison, and probably fairly old.. At

least back to the 50's I would think.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WQg1bIZesqk...ted&search=

MK

Those were great. Alamo Drafthouse sometimes shows those old movie promos between movies.

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Clay Road and Cambell Road - - Northwest corner if memory serves me correctly.

Yes on The Thunderbird!

Remember that The Post or The Chronicle had 2 or three pages of what was playing at all the movies(including that multi-screen adult cine across the street from The Shamrock.

Edited by jwphillips2
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