Claremore Daily Progress

Community News

April 19, 2014

Remembering Back When...

Drive-In Moments

(Continued)

CLAREMORE —

For the ones who came mainly to socialize the area around the concession stand was the place to park. Almost everyone attending a drive-in made one or two (or more) trips to the concessions.
Even with the tantalizing aroma of fresh popcorn coming from the concession stand, many families elected to bring their own refreshments from home. For the many that needed to watch their expenses, going to the drive-in was the cheapest family entertainment to be found.
Another large plus for the drive-in was the fact one didn’t need to “dress up” to go.  
The outdoor movies did have a drawback. The weather could hinder the evening. Rain and or fog were the main problem.  Summer heat or unseasonal cold weather didn’t help. It was the same with flying insects that might invade the area at any given time.
The decision to widen Daylight Savings Time dates during the 1960s dealt a swerve blow to the outdoor movies.  In many cases the sun would still be up well after 8-9 p.m. This caused the nightly features to still be showing well after midnight.  
In the end the bad overtook  the good. It just became too much drudgery to go to the drive-in. 
Without the viewers to pay the expenses, ownership decided to close down operation.
The Rogers Drive-In showed its final movie in 1997. A short time later it was leveled to make room for a rental storage complex.  
Today only nine outdoor theaters remain open in Oklahoma. 
The Admiral Twin in Tulsa is the closest. The next one would be at Sapulpa.
As for the Rogers Drive-In, it has the joined the ranks of Tulsa’s Skyline, Bellaire, 11th Street, Capri, Airview, Riverside, and Apache and close to 100 others.  
They remain only in our memories.
 

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