51 Drive-In Theatre

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City/Town: Broken Arrow
Location Class: Theater
Year Built: 1953
Year Abandoned: 1993
Status: For Sale
Photojournalist: Michael Schwarz

New Broken Arrow Drive-In Opens With A Bang!
Truck Falls Through Septic Tank
Broken Arrow Ledger, Aug 12, 1953

51colrsmBroken Arrow’s new $10,000 Drive-in Theater failed to open on schedule July 31 because a large truck, loaded with gravel fell through their septic tank and couldn’t be extricated until the next day.

J. H. Rush, manager said “That wasn’t the end of our troubles,” he continued. “The next night a faulty connection caused several speakers to go dead and we had to refund everyone’s’ money. Now, however, everything is going fine and we believe we have ironed out all of the kinks and are looking forward to our formal opening soon” he said.

The theater is owned by Rush and Ken James. Rush is trying to find a place to live here before school starts. At present he is living in Tulsa. Mr. James is the former Francis Howard of Broken Arrow high school. They will continue to live in Tulsa where Mr. James is district sales manager for the Faultless Starch Company.

The screen was destroyed in a minor tornado (or as one of the Tulsa meteorologists would call it, a “gustnado”) in May 1993. Read More: http://tulsatvmemories.com/51drive.html

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Lesa
Lesa
6 months ago

Love this drive thru went with my family all the time when I was a kid. Love the pics wish it was open again.

WRM
WRM
4 years ago

I shot a TV commercial for Peacock's Jewelers at the '51' back in the mid-1970's. Though we had several rain drizzles during the shoot, the crew kept wiping us and the car down and we got it done. And, "Oh, my co-star = whatta cutie." (Yeah, we're still in touch).

AbandonedAR Team
AbandonedAR Team
Reply to  WRM
9 months ago

Is there any where we can see it?

@twitLaForce
5 years ago

How does something like this not get bashed up and spray painted? In DFW, this place would be ransacked.

ray
ray
5 years ago

what in the world are you trying to say??

John
John
5 years ago

I used to work for one of the owners and they told me how they and their kids kept it going until the screen was blown down (the family still owns the property and keeps it mowed, etc.).

I'm not sure if a movie theater would work there now since Broken Arrow has grown-up around it and there would be a lot more light pollution now. Still, one has to wonder what would have happened if it was still around. They mainly showed family-friendly movies there.
😉

Rita
Rita
5 years ago

whoownas theland and has it just sitting there?? I think it would make a neat small drive in theatre for children shows with a playground and all. Surely the new neighborhoods around there wouold not complain about that..screen could be smaller and the sound system could be done via your cell phones or other…it would just be a nostaglic place to go that is different from all the ditto stuff around..would be unique

Bubba Jones
Bubba Jones
Reply to  Rita
4 years ago

Especially if it showed fully nude porno movies for the kids!

shelly
shelly
5 years ago

I doubt it would ever reopen because of all the surrounding neighborhoods. Its definitely not big enough for BA.

April
April
5 years ago

I grew up going here. I'd love to know who owns the land.

Lacy
Lacy
6 years ago

That place crossed my mind today! I wish it would reopen one day! If only I had the money to buy it:)

Jana
Jana
6 years ago

This is so cool. I drive by this place all the time and can see the speaker stands through the fence. Wish it would open again.

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