Winchester Drive In Theater

Over the holiday weekend, my family and I visited the Winchester Drive In Theater in Oklahoma City. located at 6930 S. Western. The Winchester Drive In first opened its doors in 1968 and has been in business for 44 years now.

Here we are in line to enter the theater’s parking area.

As you can see by the box of Sonic food on our dash, patrons are allowed to bring their own food and drink into the drive-in. We always pop a couple of bags of popcorn and bring them with us when we go.

For those who don’t bring their own food and drink, there’s always the snack bar in the rear of the parking lot. Everything you remember being there is still there — the drinks, the popcorn, and giant boxes of candy are there for the taking.

There are even a few old school video and pinball games available to play in the snack bar!

There are a few windows located on the front of the snack bar. While peeking through one of them, we found the projector.

Here’s a shot from the rear of the snack bar, looking all the way up toward the screen. It’s almost showtime!

Tickets are $6 for adults and $3 for kids. Depending on the time of year, the theater shows either two or three movies. Although you can’t really tell in this picture, the “speaker boxes” you used to place inside your car are long gone. The theater now broadcasts the movies via FM radio (100.9, in this case) so you can listen to the movie through your car’s radio.

One summer when I was a kid my parents took my sister and I to the drive-in where, in one single night, we watched Tron, Dragonslayer, and Time Bandits. It’s a memory I hold near and dear. Even though the audio and video quality of a drive-in pales in comparison to surround sound Dolby and high-definition screens, there’s definitely something unique about drive-in theaters and I hope my kids will have fond memories of them as well.

Rob O'Hara

I'm into old video games, old arcade games, old computer games, writing, photography, computer/network security, and of course, the 1980s!

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10 thoughts on “Winchester Drive In Theater

  1. Flack, when I finally get a chance to visit you…there are a lot of places you are going to have take me to. Fantastic post, thanks for sharing these photos!

  2. Atari Adventure Square says:

    Felt like I just had a great ride to the drive-in!

    Man, those were the days.
    When they started using car radios (optional, at first) people worried about failing batteries at night’s end (a lotta clunkers rumbling about that under-legislated era).

    I loved how the sound seemed to emanate from everywhere and echoed like crazy when you walked away from the car toward the snack bar.

    Also, finding our car was always a mixture of relief and victory, cuz my eyes (blind to the surrounding darkness after gazing at neon menus) wandered to the action onscreen while carrying the delicious hot food and I tried not to trip yet ducked in front of cars so as to not be a bother.

    Real good times.
    Hope your kids treasure the pleasure of outdoor cinema.

  3. Denise says:

    I think we all went together when we were kids did we not? I think we went in your mom’s orange “thing”. I love the drive in such fond memories. I can’t get Doug to go because he doesn’t have the memories as us. I even went with my girlfriends when we started driving. Of course that was a different worlkd then. I can see in my mind the coke and popcorn characters dancing across the screen…LOL

  4. Shawnee Poling says:

    I so remember going to the Drive-Ins as a kid. We had the best times running around and going to the snack bar, trying to scare our parents and friends by hiding just outside their window. Ahhh, good times! Thanks for the post, we’re going tonight.

  5. Great-looking drive-in. I’m happy to say that we were lucky enough to have one open up by our place (in Canada) a couple of months ago and coincidentally, it has a western theme also. I’ve heard of about 8 or 9 more planned openings in Michigan and other states so it looks like the drive-in theater is making a comeback.

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