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Fort Worth Drive-In Theatres


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#1 801hme

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Posted 31 May 2008 - 10:10 AM

I've seen and participated in some topics here about Ft. Worth Drive-in Theatres. This has been a subject of interest for me for several years, and I've done some research on the subject in hopes of building a website or some-such. What memories/information do you have about these Drive-Ins? At my age, I was fortunate to experience the last "mainstream" years of drive-ins (in my case the Twin and the Meadowbrook), and in the last few years my family has become semi-regulars at the Brazos in Granbury. What a geat experience. It's like a step back in time. Kids play ball, throw frisbees, footballs, and just hang out on the lawn in front of the screen tower before the feature starts, it's always very clean and family oriented, you can bring your own food or eat from the snack-bar (which is another time warp in itself), and its a very affordable way to take a family to see a movie. Okay, now that I've plugged the Brazos (no, I don't have an affiliation other than being a fan), what do you remember about these drive-ins?

Fort Worth Twin-Riverside and East Lancaster-gas wells now
Meadowbrook Drive-in-Riverside and East Lancaster-holding area for Waste Mangement
Riverside Drive-in-Just East of North Beach on Belknap, now a driving range
Belknap-5709 East Belknap, now the site of the Desert Sands Apartment complex.
South Side Drive-in-4800 block of I-35, now the site of a Carnival Food store.
Southside Twin-Just south of I-20 on Old Hemphill Rd.-now Treasure Island Flea Market
Bowie Blvd Drive-in-7100 Camp Bowie, now a car dealarship. I believe this to be Ft. Worth's first drive-in theatre.
The Corral/Jacksboro Drive-in-199, just west of 820, now an Albertsons, some of the ramps are still visible in back.
The Pike Drive-in-7500 East Lancaster-some ramps still clearly visible.
Parkaire Drive-in-on University just south of I-30, where the shopping center with the Blue Mesa Grill is now (remember the go-cart track next door?)
Downtown Drive-in-On Henderson just north of the intersection of White Settlement Rd.-is a flea market now.
Cowtown Drive-in-on 199-now an Auto Salvage/Auction house I think?
Westerner-on River Oaks Blvd-Now a 7-11 and apartment complex.
Cherry Lane-on (really?) Cherry Lane just north of 30-Now a Wal-mart (wouldn't it be great to tear down a Wal-mart to build a Drive-In?)
Mansfield Highway-future home of a church according to sine-age
Lariat Drive-in-On East Rosedale nesr 820- This is an interesting story I'd like to know more about. I've seen old business listings for this drive-in refer to it as a "colored" drive-in, and in Don & Susan Sanders book "The American Drive-In Theatre", it is refered to as being "built near a new sub-division for the African-American community". However, people I know that grew up right down the road from there in the 40's and 50's have no memory of it. I don't think it lasted very long.


Not Fort Worth, but nearby:
Mid-Cities Drive-in-In Euless on Highway 10
Arlington Drive-in-On division just east of Bowen
Eagle Drive-In-Azle drive-in

Did I overlook one? What are your memories of these Drive-in's?

#2 Giraffe

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Posted 31 May 2008 - 12:11 PM

The Century 4 drive-in was on E. Division (Hwy 80), technically in Grand Prairie but was right up against the border with Arlington at Great Southwest Parkway. It had four screens by the time it was demolished in the 1990s. Today no trace of it remains; a huge building for an electrical equipment company sits on the property.

There is a very good website on this topic for drive-ins that existed in Dallas: http://hometown.aol....lady/index.html



#3 Ghost Writer in Disguise

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Posted 31 May 2008 - 10:42 PM

Bowie Blvd.: not a car dealership. It was replaced by a mall which today is a school.

The Lariat sounds like one that can be seen in the mid-1950s aerial view of FW at the central library. It was nestled in the curve of what would become Tension Dr. after E. Rosedale was connected to Pioneer Parkway. It has been the site of a business park for as long as I can remember.

#4 Saginaw

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Posted 04 June 2008 - 06:54 PM

Glad to meet another drive-in theater afficionato, 801hme! I hope we can chat more about it soon.

Ghost Writer, I also read the brief passage in the Sanders' book about the Lariat Drive-In. I find it fascinating that practically nothing is known about it, let alone generally referred to. In referencing an image on Google Maps, I've located Tension Dr., which snakes it's way from E. Rosedale St. up to East Loop 820, and must have connected to E. Lancaster Ave. before this part of the Loop was completed in 1963. Any idea if the Lariat was located on the northern or southern side of the tracks, or possibly wedged in the area bordered by Tension, Rosedale, and the tracks?


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#5 Ghost Writer in Disguise

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Posted 04 June 2008 - 09:55 PM

The theater in the photograph is south of the T&P tracks, between them and Rosedale/Tension and wedged against the underpass, which is to the east. The screen faces south or southeast. I'll bet it was mighty entertaining for moviegoers when trains went by.

I once noticed on each side of the underpass plaques by the TX highway dept. indicating that it had been built in, I think, 1942. Or '43. WW2, anyway.

#6 Saginaw

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Posted 05 June 2008 - 02:15 AM

QUOTE
The theater in the photograph...


Photograph?! You mean you have a picture of the old Lariat? Now that I'd surely like to see, and I'm sure everyone else here would appreciate seeing it, too!

QUOTE
...indicating that it had been built in, I think, 1942. Or '43. WW2, anyway.


If that's true, then the Lariat would have been the very first drive-in theater built in Fort Worth, predating the Bowie Boulevard by a few years. Fascinating turn this thread is taking!

By the way, I've seen at least one reference to a "Kar-Vue Drive-In", which was dated to around 1955. Any takers on this one?


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#7 Ghost Writer in Disguise

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Posted 05 June 2008 - 11:24 AM

This would be the aerial photo of FW at the central library referenced in my first post, not one of just the Lariat itself. The plaques are on the railroad bridge abutments and have nothing to do with the theater. Sorry if I was unclear on that. And I don't know for sure if this theater was indeed the Lariat; it just seems likely.

#8 Phil Phillips

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Posted 09 June 2008 - 01:55 PM

I have an old copy of part of a 1956 Ft. Worth map from the Ft. Worth Public Library. It shows the drive-in on E. Rosedale, however, it's name is not the Lariat, at least not in 1956. The names of the streets and all are handwritten and a bit hard to read. This one begins with "S" and ends with "view", as in Seaview or Sageview or ?. My parents, who grew up in Poly in the 40s and early 50s remember there being a drive-in there, but not the name and they also believe it was for African-Americans since Stop 6 is right across Rosedale. Also, in all the maps I have, 1947, 1953 and 1956, Rosedale did not continue east as it does today, but curved under the railroad track on what is now named Tension. Apparently, it was Rosedale until it merged with Lancaster about where 820 is now. I remember taking that route many times in the late 50s before the completion of 820.

#9 Buck

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Posted 09 June 2008 - 09:26 PM

Did it connect with Dallas Street, a block south of Lancaster?

#10 Saginaw

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Posted 09 June 2008 - 10:50 PM

I GOT IT!!

I made a trip to the Fort Worth Public Library this evening, to see if I could find this "mystery" drive-in theater. I started out in the Genaology area and delved into three old copies of the Yellow Pages, and found what I wanted in the April 1955 edition. It was known as the Kar-Vue Drive-In, and it's address was listed as 5500 E. Rosedale St. A quick look on Google Maps puts it in the area previously indicated. In addition, I searched the 1950 and 1960 editions, but I could find no listing for either the Kar-Vue nor the Lariat. I also took a look at their map collection, hoping I could find it's general layout on a USGS map, but they had none that covered that area. I did find that, indeed, Rosedale merged into E. Lancaster Ave. back then.

Next, I searched the Star-Telegram microfiche archives, and found a listing for the Kar-Vue, dated Wednesday, June 2, 1954. It's two features for that evening were 'My Favorite Spy', with Bob Hope and Hedy Lamarr, and 'Captain Blood', with Errol Flynn and "Sylvia De Havilland" (obviously, they meant Olivia de Havilland). In checking the June 1955 and June 1956 papers, there is no mention of the Kar-Vue nor the Lariat, just as with the Yellow Pages. An odd thing about the listing is that there was billed a "hillbilly band" that was to have performed "in person" that evening, from 7 to 7:50 p.m.

This is getting very interesting!


--Saginaw
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#11 M C Toyer

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Posted 10 June 2008 - 12:28 AM

QUOTE (Phil Phillips @ Jun 9 2008, 02:55 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
My parents, who grew up in Poly in the 40s and early 50s remember there being a drive-in there, but not the name and they also believe it was for African-Americans since Stop 6 is right across Rosedale.



Per Don and Susan Sanders in The American Drive-In Movie Theater published by Motorbooks International in 1997, in a section titled Drive-Ins and Segregation:

"The Lariat Drive-In in Fort Worth, Texas was built near a new subdivision for the African American community, and the Star-Lite Drive-In in Dallas was intended for colored patrons only."

No references as to date of construction or specific location on the Lariat but that does seem to confirm your your parents' recollection that it was a segregated theater.

M C Toyer

-

#12 M C Toyer

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Posted 10 June 2008 - 01:29 AM

QUOTE (Buck @ Jun 9 2008, 10:26 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Did it connect with Dallas Street, a block south of Lancaster?


On all the post WWII maps I have the Rosedale to Lancaster T&P grade crossing bypass , now named Tension, did intersect Dallas Avenue one block southwest of East Lancaster Avenue. The expansion of the Lancaster / 820 interchange did eliminate the eastern two blocks of Dallas Avenue which previously terminated at Cravens.

M C

#13 Ghost Writer in Disguise

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Posted 10 June 2008 - 11:00 AM

Here are two links to ponder:
http://www.cinematou...s/us/TX/12.html
http://www.cinematou...s/us/TX/11.html

Saginaw, since you found the USGS topo maps, did you see the aerial photograph of which I wrote? It lies atop the map cabinet and is unfortunately marred with colored overlays separated by heavy black lines but is well worth studying. It is a "soil" map or some such, created by the Fort Worth Geological Society dast we hope the negatives still exist?

They should have topo maps covering every bit of Texas. The correct one for E. Rosedale is "Kennedale, Tex."

#14 Saginaw

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Posted 10 June 2008 - 09:32 PM

Ghost Writer, I didn't see the "soil map" to which you refer to, as I was pretty much focused on what I could find in the files, Yellow Pages, and Star-Telegram. I did happen to find a few USGS topo maps for Kennedale, so I'll have to go back again and see what I can find, in addition to the map you're referencing to. I did find a map covering east Fort Worth and that part of Arlington that goes to Bowen (or was that Cooper?). Although it showed where the old Pike and Arlington Twin were located, unfortunately, it didn't show the Kar-Vue/Lariat; only the business park was indicated. I should point out that these particular topo maps have been through a couple of revisions, altering the original 1955 survey.

Fear not, as I'll be contacting the USGS to see if they'll know about locating a 1955 map, sans the modifications. Not only do I want to find the Kar-Vue/Lariat, but also the old Bowie Boulevard and it's layout. Wish me luck!


--Saginaw
"If I only had a time machine..."

#15 Ghost Writer in Disguise

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Posted 10 June 2008 - 10:22 PM

The Bowie Boulevard is an easy one. It lay inside the Camp Bowie split between the Bomber Spur and Buddie's Supermarket ( today a Big Lots and a couple other stores ). The screen faced west. It was replaced by a Neiman Marcus in the early 60s that still stands today as a FWISD middle school, the "Applied Learning Academy".

#16 Saginaw

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Posted 10 June 2008 - 10:44 PM

Well I'll be! blush.gif

I've accessed Google Maps, and from your description, it looks like it was located on the eastern edge of Irene Dr. I had mistakenly thought it was bordered by Irene and Alta Mere Dr., and that the screen faced south.

Thanks, Ghost Writer! I'll keep in touch!


--Saginaw
"If I only had a time machine..."

#17 cherokeehippie

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Posted 12 June 2008 - 09:09 PM

My mom told me that one time there was a dirty movie being shown at the Downtown Drive-in-On Henderson..(.the screen faced the street by the way) and it caused accidents from passerby cars driving by and seeing the stuff on the screen!!

#18 Saginaw

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Posted 12 June 2008 - 09:47 PM

cherokeehippie, it was more than likely an R-rated feature, since the X-rated flicks were handled by the Eagle in Azle and, later on, the Riverside on NE 28th St. near N. Beach St. I can testify that toward the end of it's operational life in the 1970s, the Downtown showed Spanish language features.


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#19 801hme

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Posted 13 June 2008 - 06:25 AM

QUOTE (Saginaw @ Jun 9 2008, 11:50 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I GOT IT!!

I made a trip to the Fort Worth Public Library this evening, to see if I could find this "mystery" drive-in theater. I started out in the Genaology area and delved into three old copies of the Yellow Pages, and found what I wanted in the April 1955 edition. It was known as the Kar-Vue Drive-In, and it's address was listed as 5500 E. Rosedale St. A quick look on Google Maps puts it in the area previously indicated. In addition, I searched the 1950 and 1960 editions, but I could find no listing for either the Kar-Vue nor the Lariat. I also took a look at their map collection, hoping I could find it's general layout on a USGS map, but they had none that covered that area. I did find that, indeed, Rosedale merged into E. Lancaster Ave. back then.

Next, I searched the Star-Telegram microfiche archives, and found a listing for the Kar-Vue, dated Wednesday, June 2, 1954. It's two features for that evening were 'My Favorite Spy', with Bob Hope and Hedy Lamarr, and 'Captain Blood', with Errol Flynn and "Sylvia De Havilland" (obviously, they meant Olivia de Havilland). In checking the June 1955 and June 1956 papers, there is no mention of the Kar-Vue nor the Lariat, just as with the Yellow Pages. An odd thing about the listing is that there was billed a "hillbilly band" that was to have performed "in person" that evening, from 7 to 7:50 p.m.

This is getting very interesting!


--Saginaw


I've been away & just now got back to this topic...You've been busy, Saginaw! I had seen the Kar-Vue name referenced in one of the old City Directories available at the downtown library...in fact, the Sanders book is the only reference to a "Lariat" I had seen. I think I'll get back to the library this weekend & see what the City Directories list for 5500 E. Rosedale from '54 on.

On another "mystery drive-in" topic, I've seen reference to an "Arlington Downs" drive-in in Arlington in Star-Telegram archives. Ever heard of it? It would have been (I think) in the Randol Mill/Six Flags Drive area...


#20 LocalYokel

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Posted 17 June 2008 - 06:20 PM

Were you looking for memories of the missing drive-ins only, or other Fort Worth area drive-ins as well?

I grew up in Joshua during the 1970s, when it was still the prototypical one-stop-light town, and to us Fort Worth was the "big city". Almost every date vectored in on a Fort Worth drive in, and since we came in from the South the typical targets were the Southside Twin or the Mansfield Twin. The Mansfield Twin was actually on East Seminary, in a little triangle between Seminary, Campus Drive and a railroad track. right across from O.D. Wyatt high school.

The two were fairly similar, but the Southside Twin was a bit larger and had a better concession stand. As a child in the late 60's / very early 70's the drive-ins still showed cartoons at intermission, but the mid to late 70s that was pretty much done and they would let the screens go dark between flicks. Also early on they had playground equipment up near the screens, and the kids could swing and run around like idiots while their parents enjoyed the movie in relative quiet.

Both of these drive-ins were by railroad tracks, so we grew up thinking it was normal for the movie to be interrupted by the rumble and horns of a train going right by the theater. The engineers would lay into the horn extra hard if they were able to see anything R-rated happy.gif

The only unique thing I can remember that differentiates the two was the horribly ugly pierced metal light stands outside the Southside twin. They were basically distorted looking vertical boxes with large holes cut in them to let the light out, they had a definite 50's look to them. On nights when we would be hitting the drive-in in a completely irresponsible state of inebriation, these sculptures / lamps would really mess with your mind while you were waiting in line. If you got there early enough to see them in daylight, they were painted in tasteful rusty yellow and faded Slurpee red. The Southside also had a "necker checker" at times, who would wander around and shine his flashlight in your car if you were smooching and give you a ration of grief.

Another drive-in from the general area was the Chief drive-in down in Cleburne (just south of Joshua). It was closer and cheaper than the Fort Worth drive-ins, so when it was just the guys and we didn't have a date to impress rolleyes.gif we would go to the Chief. It was memorable in that time frame for the frequent karate flick double-features they would show. Some of the worst chop-socky movies imaginable were shown on those screens, and we absolutely loved 'em. A greasy burger, stale popcorn, watery soda pop, a dim flickering screen image, and indecipherable dialogue blaring at high volume out of a broken tinny speaker... it just doesn't get any better.

As mentioned in other posts / threads, the Riverside Drive-in shifted to X-rated fare and was legendary in every small town around Fort Worth. A bunch of us ball players went up there one weekend on a morality fact-finding mission, and it was a sordid place indeed. Interestingly enough, the drive-in theater in Alvarado decided to copy the Riverside's format, which we learned to our vast amusement the next time we played at Alvarado (the drive-in was right next to the high school football stadium) rotflmao.gif

#21 Saginaw

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Posted 18 June 2008 - 10:15 PM

QUOTE
On another "mystery drive-in" topic, I've seen reference to an "Arlington Downs" drive-in in Arlington in Star-Telegram archives. Ever heard of it? It would have been (I think) in the Randol Mill/Six Flags Drive area...


Hmm. Another "Indy" quest, I see. Looks like it's back to the FWPL sometime soon. How did your research go, 801hme?

LocalYokel, welcome to the boards! I remember seeing 'Conquest of the Planet of the Apes' back in the summer of '72 on the Mansfield's east screen, accompanied by my older sister and some first and second cousins, all of us sitting in the bed of my cousin's black Chevy pickup. Ah, such carefree days when one could ride in a pickup's bed and not worry about the possible consequences. At the Southside Twin, in 1973, I saw 'The Neptune Factor' on their west screen, with my Mom, older brother, and another cousin, and I do seem to remember a train passing by during the feature!

Speaking of those "horribly ugly pierced metal light stands" that lined the entrance to the Southside Twin, I remember those very well! I thought it added to the uniqueness of the theater, as no other drive-in in Fort Worth had those, as far as I know. I do remember seeing photographs of a drive-in in Dallas that had those same lanterns. If I can find those pics I'll try and post them here, but please, don't have a flashback or something. wacko.gif


--Saginaw
"If I only had a time machine..."

#22 LocalYokel

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 07:36 AM

I'd like to see those pictures Saginaw, hopefully they won't trigger Post Traumatic Southside Syndrome laugh.gif

After I posted the blurb about the Pizza Inn over there by the Southside Twin, I suddenly remembered the infamous "Reign of Grease". That movie hit during some prime dating years, and it seemed like it was constantly being shown in double features for the next few years. I must have seen it at least 10 times in combination with other flicks, incredibly enough it never got old.

There were some great B-movie horror flicks back then. "The Legend of Boggie Creek", "Race with the Devil", "It's Alive". Lots of trucker movies like "White Line Fever" (most of them sucked viciously). And of course the great favorites among us country folks, the drive-in standard honorable-country-guys-pushed-too-far movies like "Walking Tall". Seeing a guy clubbing people over the head with a peeled tree trunk in the name of vigilante justice on a huge screen... now that's entertainment!

#23 LocalYokel

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 07:40 AM

At this point in a drive-in thread, it's appropriate to remove one's hat in honor of the great Joe Bob Briggs, drive-in-move critic extraordinaire, who told it like it really was.

"200 dead bodies. Hayloft aardvarking. Chainsaw fu. Pitchfork fu. Rottweiler fu."

rotflmao.gif

#24 Saginaw

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 10:16 AM

LocalYokel, I've heard of but never seen 'White Line Fever'. I really should see it, since I do miss the drive-in experience. I did happen to see 'Dirty Mary Crazy Larry' and 'Vanishing Point' at the Fort Worth Twin, though, and have enjoyed seeing them again on basic cable, whenever they're scheduled. Coincidentally, according to the Internet Movie Database, actor Adam Roarke, who played Larry's friend Deke in 'Dirty Mary Crazy Larry', died in Euless in 1996 at the age of 58.


--Saginaw
"If I only had a time machine..."

#25 Ghost Writer in Disguise

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Posted 22 June 2008 - 03:26 PM

I'm back from doing some directory-diving at the central library in search of more clews about the mystery drive-in on E. Rosedale. First, I checked again the mid-'50s aerial photo and it does indeed look like a drive-in, only slightly west of where I remembered it, not so much up against the railroad underpass.

As did Saginaw, I found the Kar-Vue in the 1955 yellow pages. Looking next at the 1956 yellow pages, I found the Lariat at the same address but with a different phone number. No listing in the 1957 edition for it, nor any for the Kar-Vue before 1955. I think we can conclude that this was the same theater under different names, and was there for only a couple of years in the mid-1950s. Kind of sad, really.

Playing around with HistoricAerials.com, which Saginaw was good enough to put me onto, I see that by 1963 there is something going on at that site but it's hard to tell what. A couple of buildings, a scattering of what may be cars — I've heard there was a junkyard there once, maybe this was it — but no screen tower, no entrance gate, no marquee. Looking real close though, near the road, I can just barely make out what may have been drive-in parking lanes.

Getting back to the phone books ( I was surprised at how useless the city directories proved to be ) again, I kept looking backward in time through them for the Boulevard and the Pike. The Boulevard first appears in the 1946 edition, the Pike in 1947. But the Boulevard's address is always given simply as "Benbrook Highway" until the early '50s. Could it have been first in one place and then in another? Hmm. Nah, it was called the Boulevard, after all.

#26 courtnie

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Posted 24 June 2008 - 01:44 PM

Yes the Cherry Ln drive in was on Cherry Ln where Wal Mart and Sams were but moved because the city (Whitesettlement) wouldnt give them any more tax breaks and Fort Worth would if they moved just 2 miles west, so what happened, they moved and now its a big vacant parkinglot and two big vacant buildings. I was at that drive in many times by the time I was around 5 which would of made it about 25 yrs ago. It sat right off of spur 341. across the street from Lockheed's air strip. Anyway I think it would be neat to put it back and give our kids growning up something cool to experience not just going in the theather and sitting for 2 hours. I love drive in theathers.

#27 801hme

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Posted 29 June 2008 - 08:41 AM

QUOTE (Saginaw @ Jun 18 2008, 11:15 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Speaking of those "horribly ugly pierced metal light stands" that lined the entrance to the Southside Twin, I remember those very well! I thought it added to the uniqueness of the theater, as no other drive-in in Fort Worth had those, as far as I know. I do remember seeing photographs of a drive-in in Dallas that had those same lanterns. If I can find those pics I'll try and post them here, but please, don't have a flashback or something. wacko.gif


--Saginaw


That was the Astro Drive-in in Dallas. It was around the Loop-12-Spur 408 split. Here's a pic of the "Astro-Lights". I want to think the Twin had lights like these after the remodel...

http://www.drive-ins.../txtastr027.jpg


#28 LocalYokel

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Posted 01 July 2008 - 10:12 PM

The ones in Dallas look quite similar to the ones at the Southside Twin. Excellent find!

#29 mnmassie

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Posted 18 July 2008 - 02:57 PM

My first memories of going to any movie are at the White Settlement drive in. I was really little and my parents, aunt and uncle and I saw "Airplane." We all sat in the back of my dad's truck - either on lawn chairs or the tailgate - and ate popcorn with M&M's. I also remember when I was a little older. My best friend and I went with her parents. We were in the back seat and we weren't supposed to turn around because the movie behind us kept showing topless ladies. But we kept getting in trouble for turning around! Aah, the mischeviousness of little girls!!!

#30 headlinesman

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Posted 18 July 2008 - 04:53 PM

Anyone remember that the Corral had indoor seating? It would seat about 300. I also remember that they used to show boxing title bouts at theaters. I remember while in high school standing at the back fence of the Corral watching Muhammed Ali beat Sonny Liston for the heavyweight title.

#31 Giraffe

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Posted 26 July 2008 - 11:22 PM

QUOTE (801hme @ May 31 2008, 10:10 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
a family to see a movie. Okay, now that I've plugged the Brazos (no, I don't have an affiliation other than being a fan), what do you remember about these drive-ins?

The Pike Drive-in-7500 East Lancaster-some ramps still clearly visible.



I checked WikiMapia and came up with the following image for what I think is the location of The Pike:
http://www.wikimapia...a...amp;m=a&v=2

I never attended this drive-in and I'll have to ask those who did to confirm or refute this. It does look like the remains of a drive-in, IMHO. The numerical street address seems to match. And if you move the WikiMapia image over to the left a little bit, you'll not only see Rosehill Cemetery, but zoom in and it'll point you to what someone has tagged as Lee Harvey Oswald's grave marker.

#32 801hme

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Posted 27 July 2008 - 01:56 PM

QUOTE (Giraffe @ Jul 27 2008, 12:22 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (801hme @ May 31 2008, 10:10 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
a family to see a movie. Okay, now that I've plugged the Brazos (no, I don't have an affiliation other than being a fan), what do you remember about these drive-ins?

The Pike Drive-in-7500 East Lancaster-some ramps still clearly visible.



I checked WikiMapia and came up with the following image for what I think is the location of The Pike:
http://www.wikimapia...a...amp;m=a&v=2

I never attended this drive-in and I'll have to ask those who did to confirm or refute this. It does look like the remains of a drive-in, IMHO. The numerical street address seems to match. And if you move the WikiMapia image over to the left a little bit, you'll not only see Rosehill Cemetery, but zoom in and it'll point you to what someone has tagged as Lee Harvey Oswald's grave marker.


Yes, that was where the Pike was. I remember the seeing screen tower when I was a kid, but the theatre had been closed for years. I want to think it (the screen tower) was there until the early 80's. Here's a link with a photograph of the theatre.

http://mackwhite.blo...n-memories.html

#33 m lambert

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Posted 10 May 2009 - 12:19 PM

QUOTE (Ghost Writer in Disguise @ Jun 10 2008, 11:22 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The Bowie Boulevard is an easy one. It lay inside the Camp Bowie split between the Bomber Spur and Buddie's Supermarket ( today a Big Lots and a couple other stores ). The screen faced west. It was replaced by a Neiman Marcus in the early 60s that still stands today as a FWISD middle school, the "Applied Learning Academy".


The first drive in movie I remember back in the 40s was the one on Camp Bowie. It was called the Bowie Drive In. For several years, the movie speakers were built into the ground between the cars. In the winter, you had to keep the windows down to hear and it was cold. When the Army built the Air Base and the planes started to fly right over the drive in; the only thing you could hear was the rower of the engines. Later they started placing the speakers in the inside of the cars. The screen was built so it could not adapt to the wide CinemaScope. They tride, but it did not work out well.
Maurice Lambert

#34 EwingFTW

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Posted 10 May 2009 - 10:49 PM

I was a Manager of an indoor movie house in 1949-1951 in Columbia, Missouri. Our chain had a drive-in west of town -- The Broadway. When I resigned, I hated to pay admission to see a movie, so, one night a week I worked as a projectonist at the Broadway Drive-In for very little pay, but free admission downtown.

When I returned to Fort Worth in 1958 a friend that I attended military school with, along with his father, built the Parkade Drive-In on University Drive. The father, L. C. Tidball also owned the New Isis on N. Main St.


#35 Saginaw

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Posted 15 May 2009 - 07:46 PM

QUOTE (m lambert @ May 10 2009, 01:19 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The first drive in movie I remember back in the 40s was the one on Camp Bowie. It was called the Bowie Drive In. For several years, the movie speakers were built into the ground between the cars. In the winter, you had to keep the windows down to hear and it was cold. When the Army built the Air Base and the planes started to fly right over the drive in; the only thing you could hear was the rower of the engines. Later they started placing the speakers in the inside of the cars. The screen was built so it could not adapt to the wide CinemaScope. They tride, but it did not work out well.
Maurice Lambert


Thank you very much for your post, Maurice! These are some very interesting details you've provided.

In the book 'The American Drive-In Movie Theatre', on page 42, there is a small black-and-white photograph of W.G. Underwood, half owner of the Underwood-Ezell chain of theatres. He is kneeling beside one of those in-ground speakers you've described, and he's holding the open metal grating that fitted over it. The picture is from UT Arlington's Star-Telegram archived collection, and I'm now wondering if the pic was taken at the old Bowie Boulevard? In light of your post, I'm kinda betting it was.


QUOTE (EwingFTW @ May 10 2009, 11:49 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
When I returned to Fort Worth in 1958 a friend that I attended military school with, along with his father, built the Parkade Drive-In on University Drive. The father, L. C. Tidball also owned the New Isis on N. Main St.


Thank you very much for your post, EwingFTW! I have some additional questions about the Parkaire, and I'll be contacting you very soon about it.

Thanks again for your help, gentlemen! smile.gif


--Saginaw
"If I only had a time machine..."

#36 801hme

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Posted 22 May 2009 - 05:16 AM

I found 2 images of the screen tower at the original South Side Drive-In (not the South Side Twin). They can be viewed at this website:

http://www.drive-ins...theater/txtso13

I was somewhat surprised by the sheet metal construction of the screen tower, like the Belknap (I guess I just imagined all of Jack Corgan's designs to be slip-form concrete). These images were taken by Alberta McHugh, who I understand owned the theatre in the 50's.

#37 Saginaw

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Posted 23 May 2009 - 09:28 PM

FANTASTIC photographs, 801hme! Well done! smile.gif

So, it would appear that the South Side's and Belknap's screen towers were constructed with corrugated metal sheeting. You can also add the Parkaire, too, as I've come to find out, from a source of mine, that its screen tower was also built with a corrugated metal skin. My source also remembers (somewhat) that it may have been painted a light green color, but that fact is merely conjectural at this time. What can be confirmed is that the Parkaire's streetside marquee was, in fact, painted dark green (perhaps forest green) with a yellow-orange arrow.

So far, we have confirmation (in chronological order of opening dates) on the appearance of the screen towers of the Bowie Boulevard, Pike, Belknap, South Side, Jacksboro/Corral, and Cowtown, in respect to their older construction. Apparently, the Fort Worth Twin was initially constructed with an apartment at the base of it's west screen, but it's appearance is illusive for the time being. We do know that it was replaced during it's lifetime with the plain-looking skeletal frame structure that most of us are more familiar with. Hopefully, it's original appearance will be discovered soon.


--Saginaw
"If I only had a time machine..."

#38 EwingFTW

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Posted 24 May 2009 - 09:23 PM

I mentioned earlier that I attended Military School with New Isis and Parkaire owner Mr. L. C. Tidball's son, but had lost track of him over the years. He managed the Parkaire. I just found him in an internet search, but with an unlisted telephone number. Now I'm working on how to get in contact with him and will be back with all the information on the Parkaire, hopefully soon.



#39 Saginaw

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Posted 26 May 2009 - 08:42 PM

QUOTE (EwingFTW @ May 24 2009, 10:23 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I mentioned earlier that I attended Military School with New Isis and Parkaire owner Mr. L. C. Tidball's son, but had lost track of him over the years. He managed the Parkaire. I just found him in an internet search, but with an unlisted telephone number. Now I'm working on how to get in contact with him and will be back with all the information on the Parkaire, hopefully soon.



Outstanding news, EwingFTW! All of us drive-in theatre afficionadoes are looking forward to what you'll hopefully uncover. In the meantime, I've sent you an e-mail. Hope to hear from you soon, and thank you!


--Saginaw

"If I only had a time machine..."

#40 gdvanc

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Posted 17 July 2009 - 09:11 PM

QUOTE (801hme @ May 31 2008, 11:10 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
At my age, I was fortunate to experience the last "mainstream" years of drive-ins (in my case the Twin and the Meadowbrook), and in the last few years my family has become semi-regulars at the Brazos in Granbury.


I received an email saying the Brazos is for sale. I don't see anything about it on their web site, though.

#41 ronniejay

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Posted 07 June 2010 - 08:49 AM

QUOTE (M C Toyer @ Jun 10 2008, 12:28 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (Phil Phillips @ Jun 9 2008, 02:55 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
My parents, who grew up in Poly in the 40s and early 50s remember there being a drive-in there, but not the name and they also believe it was for African-Americans since Stop 6 is right across Rosedale.



Per Don and Susan Sanders in The American Drive-In Movie Theater published by Motorbooks International in 1997, in a section titled Drive-Ins and Segregation:

"The Lariat Drive-In in Fort Worth, Texas was built near a new subdivision for the African American community, and the Star-Lite Drive-In in Dallas was intended for colored patrons only."

No references as to date of construction or specific location on the Lariat but that does seem to confirm your your parents' recollection that it was a segregated theater.

M C Toyer

-



We moved to Carver Heights in 1955, which was right across Rosedale from The Lariat. Carver Heights was just beyond Stop 6. I think the entrance to Lariat was on Winnie (which was Stalcup on the south side of Rosedale), between Rosedale and the tracks. The Lariat sat between the tracks and Rosedale, east of Winnie. I think the screen back faced Rosedale, as I remember the neon cowboy on a horse with a red lariat that "moved".

I don't remember Kar-vue at any time. I left Fort Worth in 1965, for UT-Austin, after commuting 2 years to then Arlington State. I think the Lariat was still there.

#42 unknowntbone

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Posted 17 June 2010 - 03:59 PM

I'll bet you are referring to Philip C. Tidball being the son of L.C. Tidball. In addition to owning the Parkaire and the Isis, he also owned the 1849 Village Opera House at the time of its opening. I lied about my age to get a job there. I wore a long black "Johnny Cash" type of coat and the usherettes and concession girls wore "San Francisco style" saloon-girl outfits that drove me wild!

Speaking of the Parkaire, the last movie I remember seeing there was 'Born Losers' which was the original Billy Jack vigilante movie. One man takes on an entire motorcycle gang--the man wins.

#43 stevee

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Posted 23 June 2010 - 03:22 AM

I happened upon this site last weekend and have enjoyed reading this post. I'm 54 and some of the best times of my life we're spent at FW/D drive-ins. I visited many of them but the one's that stand out are the Belknap, Riverside, Mid-Cities, Meadowbrook, Parkaire, and the Cowtown I remember those little spiral mosquito repellent my parents would sometimes use (they were probably toxic), and the concession stands, the big pickles. When I was very young I'd play in the playground and usually find a girlfriend by the time the night was over only to realize by the end of the night I'd probably never see her again. As I got older the playground became the backseat of my car. I find myself longing for the past these days and wishing I'd known then what I know now, bittersweet drive-ins.

#44 waywr

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Posted 04 July 2010 - 04:21 PM

I'm pretty sure I remember the Mansfield Drive In originally had a mural on back of the one screen, but it caught on fire and they replaced it with a regular flat screen type screen.
This would be late 60s/early 70s so I was a little kid.
Can anyone confirm whether that really occurred?Almost positive I remember seeing the old mural-backed screen way back when.

#45 Saginaw

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Posted 04 July 2010 - 11:48 PM

QUOTE (waywr @ Jul 4 2010, 05:21 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I'm pretty sure I remember the Mansfield Drive In originally had a mural on back of the one screen, but it caught on fire and they replaced it with a regular flat screen type screen.
This would be late 60s/early 70s so I was a little kid.
Can anyone confirm whether that really occurred?Almost positive I remember seeing the old mural-backed screen way back when.


According to the trade magazine Boxoffice, dated September 29, 1969, the Mansfield Highway Drive-In's original single screen tower burned down on the 13th of that month. The brief article states that around 7:05 p.m that evening, a customer was waiting in line to see the movie 'Night of the Bloody Horror' when thick clouds of smoke began to pour from the screen. It doesn't say whether that customer alerted anyone, but the fire eventually grew to three alarms, and fire crews from Fort Worth and Forest Hill responded, not to mention a traffic jam caused by passersby. The manager, one Mr. Tommy Allen, believed the fire was started by faulty wiring, and damages were estimated at around $20,000.

Also, the website Historic Aerials has aerial shots of the Mansfield from 1970, and the charred remains of the old screen tower can be seen. Photos from earlier years do show that the theatre's screen tower was built (in 1950) with a dwelling at it's base. I definitely remember going to there in the summer of '72 to see 'Conquest of the Planet of the Apes', and by that time it was reopened as a twin screen drive-in. The towers erected were of the "stransteel"-type, like most in Fort Worth had become at that time.

I'm hoping that maybe you, or someone out there, can possibly remember what the Mansfield's mural on it's original screen tower looked like. So far, most of them in Fort Worth had a western theme to them (like the Pike's cowboy campfire scene), and they were likely lit (and a few of them even animated) in neon. I'm betting that the Mansfield continued with that theme as well. Thanks for posting, waywr!


--Saginaw
"If I only had a time machine..."

#46 John T Roberts

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Posted 07 July 2010 - 08:35 PM

I remember the fire, but I don't remember what the mural looked like. It's been way to long and I was a little too young to remember all of the details on the theater. I will see if anyone in my family can remember.

#47 Saginaw

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Posted 08 July 2010 - 07:29 PM

Thank you, John! I hope you'll be able to find out the info. smile.gif

QUOTE (ronniejay @ Jun 7 2010, 09:49 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (M C Toyer @ Jun 10 2008, 12:28 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (Phil Phillips @ Jun 9 2008, 02:55 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
My parents, who grew up in Poly in the 40s and early 50s remember there being a drive-in there, but not the name and they also believe it was for African-Americans since Stop 6 is right across Rosedale.



Per Don and Susan Sanders in The American Drive-In Movie Theater published by Motorbooks International in 1997, in a section titled Drive-Ins and Segregation:

"The Lariat Drive-In in Fort Worth, Texas was built near a new subdivision for the African American community, and the Star-Lite Drive-In in Dallas was intended for colored patrons only."

No references as to date of construction or specific location on the Lariat but that does seem to confirm your your parents' recollection that it was a segregated theater.

M C Toyer

-



We moved to Carver Heights in 1955, which was right across Rosedale from The Lariat. Carver Heights was just beyond Stop 6. I think the entrance to Lariat was on Winnie (which was Stalcup on the south side of Rosedale), between Rosedale and the tracks. The Lariat sat between the tracks and Rosedale, east of Winnie. I think the screen back faced Rosedale, as I remember the neon cowboy on a horse with a red lariat that "moved".

I don't remember Kar-vue at any time. I left Fort Worth in 1965, for UT-Austin, after commuting 2 years to then Arlington State. I think the Lariat was still there.


Ronniejay, thank you VERY MUCH for your information, and welcome to the boards!

The Lariat (I guess we'll call that particular drive-in theatre that here) didn't seem to have a very long operational life like many of the other drive-ins in Fort Worth, as by 1963 it was razed and a business of some kind was erected there. You are right in remembering that the theatre sat between the railroad tracks (to the north) and E. Rosedale St. (Spur 303) east of Winnie St., and I do have an aerial shot of it's layout:

Lariat Drive-In Theatre aerial, circa 1957

About your rememberance of the neon artwork, given the location of the screen tower, I'm wondering if it was a possible street marquee that you saw the cowboy with the animated lariat on? Wherever you saw that, it's a very important and informative piece of detail that you've provided us here. Hopefully, with what you've uncovered, someone else can provide a little more information on this overlooked drive-in theatre.


--Saginaw
"If I only had a time machine..."

#48 ronniejay

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Posted 13 July 2010 - 10:17 PM

QUOTE (Saginaw @ Jul 8 2010, 07:29 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Thank you, John! I hope you'll be able to find out the info. smile.gif

QUOTE (ronniejay @ Jun 7 2010, 09:49 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (M C Toyer @ Jun 10 2008, 12:28 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (Phil Phillips @ Jun 9 2008, 02:55 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
My parents, who grew up in Poly in the 40s and early 50s remember there being a drive-in there, but not the name and they also believe it was for African-Americans since Stop 6 is right across Rosedale.



Per Don and Susan Sanders in The American Drive-In Movie Theater published by Motorbooks International in 1997, in a section titled Drive-Ins and Segregation:

"The Lariat Drive-In in Fort Worth, Texas was built near a new subdivision for the African American community, and the Star-Lite Drive-In in Dallas was intended for colored patrons only."

No references as to date of construction or specific location on the Lariat but that does seem to confirm your your parents' recollection that it was a segregated theater.

M C Toyer

-



We moved to Carver Heights in 1955, which was right across Rosedale from The Lariat. Carver Heights was just beyond Stop 6. I think the entrance to Lariat was on Winnie (which was Stalcup on the south side of Rosedale), between Rosedale and the tracks. The Lariat sat between the tracks and Rosedale, east of Winnie. I think the screen back faced Rosedale, as I remember the neon cowboy on a horse with a red lariat that "moved".

I don't remember Kar-vue at any time. I left Fort Worth in 1965, for UT-Austin, after commuting 2 years to then Arlington State. I think the Lariat was still there.


Ronniejay, thank you VERY MUCH for your information, and welcome to the boards!

The Lariat (I guess we'll call that particular drive-in theatre that here) didn't seem to have a very long operational life like many of the other drive-ins in Fort Worth, as by 1963 it was razed and a business of some kind was erected there. You are right in remembering that the theatre sat between the railroad tracks (to the north) and E. Rosedale St. (Spur 303) east of Winnie St., and I do have an aerial shot of it's layout:

Lariat Drive-In Theatre aerial, circa 1957

About your rememberance of the neon artwork, given the location of the screen tower, I'm wondering if it was a possible street marquee that you saw the cowboy with the animated lariat on? Wherever you saw that, it's a very important and informative piece of detail that you've provided us here. Hopefully, with what you've uncovered, someone else can provide a little more information on this overlooked drive-in theatre.


--Saginaw



I looked at the aerial. I see the screen back at the tracks. Yes, I must have seen a sign near Rosedale. It that a free site where you found the aerial? Where is it?

#49 Phil Phillips

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Posted 14 July 2010 - 09:42 AM

The site is historicaerials.com. Very addictive.

#50 waywr

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Posted 21 July 2010 - 06:41 AM

I vaguely remember seeing the mural passing by the Mansfield, but can't recall what the picture was. I think the border around it was pink or salmon colored, but I'm not 100%




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