14 Flags Drive-In Theatre
9901 S Western Ave|
Oklahoma City OK 73139
|Record #8409 |
Demolished: Yes (date unknown)
Capacity: 1600 cars|
Current Organ: none
| Also Known As: |
Information for this tour was contributed by Wesley Horton.
The July 3, 1968, opening ad for the 14 Flags Drive-In proclaimed, "1600 Cars, Oklahoma's Biggest Theater Screen, The latest and most Modern projection and sound. Tonite Fireworks. 4 fast self serve food lines. Quality foods budget prices."
Movies on the bill that night were "Villa Rides" starring Charles Bronson, "The Night of the Grizzly" starring Clint Walker, and Alfred Hitchcock's "Psycho".
The theater was owned by Marvin Staton, who also owned Springlake Amusement Park. When it was opened, it was heralded as "Oklahoma's largest drive-in," a position it holds to this day. The sheer size of the 14 Flags as a single drive-in was never surpassed by another drive-in theater in Oklahoma. With 1600 cars packed into 28 acres, there was plenty of room. George Grube, who managed the theater for many years, remembers it fondly. "I helped design that drive-in," he told me recently. Speaking of the drive-in causes his entire demeanor to perk up. It is obvious that this is a man who loves drive-ins.
From an old projection report, it can be determined that the screen was 132 feet by 80 feet with a throw of 525 feet. The output from the carbon arc lamphouse was calculated at 165 amps to be 10,230 watts.
This once-proud drive-in was doomed by encroaching residences. A story in the Oklahoma City Times dated Thursday, October 14, 1982, headlined "Final Scene for 14 Flags" told a poignant tale of the end of the drive-in theater and the memories of those whose homes abutted the drive-in. The resident who lived next door to the drive-in told how they had the theater sound system connected to their home sound system and would watch movies during the summer from their backyard.
In 1982, the end finally came for the 14 Flags on September 30 with a showing of "Amityville: The Possession", "Mark of the Devil, Part II" and "Death Wish". As with the closing of the Airline Drive-In, the closing came as Mid America Theatres became insolvent and closed several city theaters without warning. The theaters closed included the Westpark, the Continental and the Edmond Plaza.
The property, with a $1.138 million price tag, was tied up in litigation for several years. The 28 acre site is now occupied by the Western Flags housing addition.
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Last featured 10/18/2002. Last edited 3/22/2008.