Jump to content


Member Since 30 Apr 2008
Offline Last Active Nov 01 2015 09:06 PM

#93370 Forest Park Zoo?

Posted by Saginaw on 08 September 2015 - 03:52 AM

When I was a kid in the '70s, my now-sainted Mom would take me to the Fort Worth Zoo, usually on a Sunday afternoon. I can vividly recall that the both of us would use the terms "the zoo" and "Forest Park" interchangeably to refer to the same place.


I have lots of cherished memories from that time. Within the zoo itself, the small children's petting zoo area was still around, with their neat water fountain at the entrance that resembled a lion with its mouth wide open. The old bird house was there, too, as was the original aquarium and the herpetarium ("snake house") at the far end of the property. At the aquarium, there was a very friendly African-American woman who used to sit outside at the entrance. I don't recall if she was an employee, but I seem to remember that she was "old", say, in her 60s. There were also several wooden refreshment stands along the paved asphalt trail that resembled an upturned wedge. They were painted pink with white trim, and they sold snacks such as popcorn, sodas, sno-cones, and cotton candy.


Of course, my favorite area was the Midway, with the rides. I wasn't the "adventurous" sort back then, so I pretty much stuck with the carousel, Ferris wheel, and bumper cars. We always ended the day with a ride on their classic miniature train, which in the '70s was the rolling stock that resembled a 19th Century steam locomotive with open passenger cars. Hearing the train's wheels rolling over the rails was a very relaxing experience. It was an innocent and fun time.




#76971 Fort Worth Drive-In Theatres

Posted by Saginaw on 07 May 2013 - 04:33 PM


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?

There is very little history on the Downtowner Drive on Henderson. Can anyone enlighten me on it?



The Downtown Drive-In Theatre was located at 1000 N. Henderson Street, across the bridge heading north from downtown on the same side as the Mexican Inn Restaurant. It opened in 1957 and showed mostly "second-run" and B-movies, similar to what the old Meadowbrook Drive-In Theatre featured at that same time. It was owned by Gulf States Theatres either for its entire operational history or for a limited time, as it was no longer listed in the Star-Telegram after late-1973. From that point onward until it closed for good (sometime around '74 or '75), it began to show Spanish language movies, and it was the first local drive-in to do so.


I personally remember this as my now-sainted Mom, her boyfriend at the time, and I went there on a cold, drizzly night early in 1974. There weren't very many cars parked out there that evening (probably no more than 10-12), and I didn't get a chance to go to the snack bar as I fell asleep during the first feature. Another thing I definitely remember about it was its unique roadside marquee, which was very tall and spelled "DOWNTOWN" vertically. In looking at the photographs on the Historic Aerials website, it would seem that there was a small, separate projection building located on the very first ramp, six ramps ahead of the concession stand. The traffic that traveled up and down N. Henderson always had an unobstructed view of what was showing!


After it closed, the theatre was torn down, and the property sat unused for years until it was bought and converted into the Henderson Street Bazaar (sometime during the '80s). I wish that someone had a photograph of the old marquee. Hope this helps to "enlighten" your curiousity!