The Chief Drive-In Theatre is a historic drive-in theatre located in the town of Chickasha, Oklahoma. It first opened its doors in 1949 and has been providing movie-goers with a unique and nostalgic experience for over 70 years. The theatre has survived multiple closures and changes in ownership but has remained a beloved local landmark throughout its history.
The Chief Drive-In Theatre was originally built by a man named W.D. Hummingbird. At the time of its opening, it was one of only a handful of drive-in theatres in the state of Oklahoma. The theatre featured a single screen and could simultaneously accommodate up to 500 cars. The opening night featured the classic film “The Red Stallion,” and quickly became a popular destination for movie-goers in the area.
Over the years, the Chief Drive-In Theatre has seen its fair share of challenges. In the 1960s, the theatre was forced to close due to financial struggles. However, it was reopened a few years later by a new owner, and continued to operate throughout the 1970s and 1980s.
In the 1990s, the theatre once again faced closure as attendance declined and competition from indoor movie theatres increased. However, in 1994, a local couple named Joe and Lisa DeLong purchased the theatre and worked to revitalize it. They added a second screen and began showing double features, which proved to be a successful strategy.
In the years since, the Chief Drive-In Theatre has continued to thrive under the ownership of the DeLongs. The theatre has become a popular destination for families and groups of friends looking for a fun and unique movie-going experience. The theatre’s website describes it as “an American Icon,” and notes that it is “one of the few remaining drive-ins in America.” Chickasha, Oklahoma.
One of the unique features of the Chief Drive-In Theatre is its large, neon-lit sign. The sign features a caricature of a Native American chief, which is a nod to the history and culture of the area. The sign has become a symbol of the theatre and a popular spot for photos.
The theatre’s website notes that the Chief Drive-In is “more than just a movie theatre.” In addition to showing movies, the theatre hosts events throughout the year, including car shows, flea markets, and live music performances. The theatre also offers a concession stand with classic movie snacks like popcorn and candy and burgers and other food items.
The Chief Drive-In Theatre is also known for its affordable ticket prices. According to the theatre’s website, a carload of up to six people can see a double feature for just $20. This makes it an affordable option for families and groups of friends looking for a fun night out.
In recent years, drive-in theatres like the Chief Drive-In have experienced a resurgence in popularity. This is in part due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced many indoor movie theatres to close or reduce capacity. Drive-in theatres offer a safer option for movie-goers, as they allow people to watch movies from the safety and comfort of their own cars. City near is Chickasha Festival of Light, OK.
However, drive-in theatres were experiencing a resurgence in popularity even before the pandemic. Many people enjoy the nostalgia of the drive-in experience and the unique atmosphere and sense of community that drive-in theatres provide. The Chief Drive-In Theatre has been able to capitalize on this trend by offering a fun and affordable movie-going experience that is perfect for families and groups of friends.
Overall, the Chief Drive-In Theatre is a beloved local landmark that has stood the test of time. It has survived multiple closures and changes in ownership but has remained a popular destination for movie-goers throughout its history.
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