Drive-ins of New Mexico

By the numbers, New Mexico weighs-in as the fifth
largest state in America- trailing after Alaska, Texas,
California, and Montana (total area: 121,666 sq. miles ).

By the numbers, New Mexico was also a land quite enchanted
with outdoor theatres during the heyday of America's Drive-ins,
supporting nearly 50 of them by the late 1950's.  Since that time,
92% of them have gone dark or have been demolished.  Meanwhile,
across America we are reporting fewer and fewer closings and more
openings and re-openings now. In fact 10% of the Drive-ins which
are currently operating are either new or 'resurrected' Drive-ins.

New Mexico was an early milepost on the long road to this trend
towards the revival and Renaissance of the Drive-in cinema .. as
early as 1990, through the vision & perseverance of Brad Light,
whose successful resurrection in Carlsbad would be followed by
several dozen more that have occured since, all across America.

And, we are pleased to announce that we've heard some very
interesting things about New Mexico lately, which leads us to
forecast- that the next really exciting development here will
be:  a well-conceived Drive-in theatre opening in Santa Fe.

    photo:  Brad Light
 Carlsbad, New Mexico

  • Carlsbad (Eddy County) New Mexico
    Fiesta Drive-in Theatre:  505-885-4126
    located at 401 West Fiesta Drive

    Theoretically,  it could be said that the Fiesta Drive-in
    is New Mexico's oldest .. but although there had been
    an outdoor picture show here since 1948, it had also
    gone 'dark' and remained so for two decades before
    the current Drive-in opened.  More accurately,  it can
    be said that the present three-screen Drive-in, which
    opened in 1990 ..  is historically significant for being:
    an ambitious investment and undertaking-- ten years
    before  it would become self-evident that the winds of
    change are blowing in another direction .. now, across
    the nation we are clearly witnessing a Drive-in  revival ..
    and reviewing this continuing trend in retrospect, Fiesta
    was among the first sparks of the current Renaissance.
    All three screens are lit year-round; Friday thru Monday
    during the off season (Sept-May); and 7 nites in Summer.
    Audio is provided with local vicinity FM radio broadcasts:
    (Scrn1:  101.1FM   •  Scrn2:  102.1FM   •   Scrn3: 103.1FM).
    Admission:   $4 per person if you're travelling solo, or else
    $8 per carload will cover all passengers for early shows;
    and $2 per person for singles or $4 per carload lateshow;
    Wednesday Nite Special: admission is only $2 per person.

  • Farmington (SanJuan County) New Mexico
    Apache Drive-in Theatre:  505-325-3925
    located at 1411 West Apache Street
    (¼mile north of Route 64)

    Twin-screen Drive-in open seasonally,
    April thru September; weekends only.

    photo: courtesy of USGS - May 27th, 1991
     (USGS) Satellite view of  
 just north of Las Vegas, NM

  • Las Vegas (San Miguel County) New Mexico
    Fort Union Drive-in:   505-425-9934
    located at 3300 7th Street (off Hwy.3)

    Solo screen with a capacity for 340 cars,
    open seasonally, May thru September, on
    weekends only, screening double features.
    Admission: $7/carload covers all passengers.

  • Raton (Colfax County) New Mexico
    85 Drive-in:   505-445-3672
    located at 1391 2nd Street (Route 64)

    The 85 is a solo screen with a capacity for
    up to 350 cars, open seasonally April thru

    ITEM:  The 85 is the only operating Drive-in theatre in
    America that's situated opposite a KOA campground.

If you are aware of any Drive-ins
that we seem to have missed, or
would like to contribute any
information to our efforts,
please use this envelope
to send a letter to us.


 The Guide to Drive-in Movie Theatres

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