The steel orchards of speaker posts have been clear-cut. The clattering, whirring projectors have been scrapped. The smells of popcorn and hotdogs have long since been replaced by the smell of automobile exhaust. And the sounds of Rock and Doris wooing and the Duke “Pilgrim”ing have yielded to the sound of boom cars thumping.
But a few relics of Fort Worth’s drive-in theaters can still be found.
On East Lancaster Avenue the concentric, undulating parking ramps of the Pike can still be seen on the ground and from the air.
The Mansfield Road drive-in theater opened in 1950 as “an entertainment wonderland.”
In a bend of Sycamore Creek just east of Riverside Drive and north of Lancaster Avenue near a natural gas well, from the air you can still make out the concentric curved parking ramps of the Fort Worth Twin.
And, finally, on Riverside Drive just north of the Fort Worth Twin, the screen of the Meadowbrook still stands near the Trinity River. The property is now a holding area for Waste Management Company.
The Meadowbrook sign. (The drive-in property was later a bicycle park.)
The rear of the screen as seen from where the original Sycamore Creek channel flowed into the original Trinity River channel before flood-control measures of the 1950s and 1960s. Nature has reclaimed the old channels.
Today where cars of young couples once parked are parked dozens of mobile garbage bins, as if waiting for the first feature to start. (“We wanna see a trashy movie!” “Yeah! Show us Dumpster Does Dallas!”)
Newspaper ad from 1975.
Drive-in movie theater concession stand commercial: