De Anza Drive-In

1401 S. Alvernon Way,
Tucson, AZ 85711

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Additional Info

Firms: Charles Cox & Associates

Previous Names: Cactus Drive-In

Phone Numbers: Box Office: 520.745.2240

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News About This Theater

De Anza Drive-In

The Cactus Drive-In opened March 24, 1951 with Yvonne De Carlo in “The Gal Who Took the West” & Donald O'Connor in “Feudin', Fussin' and A-Fightin'”. It had a capacity for 600 cars. The single screen Cactus Drive-In closed October 27, 1976.

In 1977 the drive-in re-opened as the De Anza Drive-In with three screens. A year later a fourth screen was added. Car capacity is still listed as 600.

The De Anza Drive-In was closed on October 3, 2009, and was soon demolished.

Contributed by Lost Memory

Recent comments (view all 16 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on July 15, 2009 at 7:00 am

The three-screen De Anza Drive-In was designed by Charles Cox & Associates, according to an article in the February 14, 1977, issue of Boxoffice.

CSWalczak on June 21, 2010 at 8:52 pm

Two individuals in Tucson are attempting to build a sort of recreation of this theater, using screen parts salvaged from the site. The plan to give the new theater the De Anza’s original name, the Cactus. The project has a website and it has this page on it which relates some history of the Cactus/De Anza:

rivest266 on January 8, 2011 at 12:09 am

Grand opening ad from February 1st, 1977 ad De Anza is at
View link

Silicon Sam
Silicon Sam on January 17, 2013 at 2:11 am

Old Drive in customer found, couldn’t find the exit:

Tucsonman on July 20, 2014 at 1:23 am

I’ve got the original grand opening ad here:

Tucsonman on July 20, 2014 at 1:31 am

I remember when I went here to see Charlie & The Chocolate Factory with my family in 2004. My dad, & I had already seen it at the Century El Con 20 Theatres, but the rest of us hadn’t seen it at all. My younger brother was creeped out by the squirrels.

LoveCinema on August 26, 2014 at 2:17 pm

Stayed a few days in Tucson whilst traveling through the United States back in 1982. The “De Anza” was my first “Drive In”– Movie-Experience: absolutely fantastic – see a movie, watch the stars above. Brings back happy memories. Sorry to hear about the “De Anza’s” demolition. I am also sorry to read about the “Drive In’s” vanishing from the US landscapes. Keep my finger crossed for the remaining DI’s and the ones to be open in the future (hopefully). Love from Germany

davidcoppock on March 1, 2020 at 9:38 am

Opened as Cactus Drive-in on 24/3/1951 with “Gal who took the west” and “ Feudin', Fussin', and a fightin'”.

MichaelKilgore on March 20, 2023 at 2:08 am

Boxoffice, April 21, 1951: TUCSON - New drive-in here, the city’s fourth, is the Cactus, recently opened by Wes Becker and Hugh Downs. The open-airer has accommodations for 600 cars and features a “snackateria.”

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