De Anza Drive-In

1401 S. Alvernon Way,
Tucson, AZ 85711

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MichaelKilgore on March 19, 2023 at 7:08 pm

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.”

davidcoppock on March 1, 2020 at 1:38 am

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

LoveCinema on August 26, 2014 at 6:17 am

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

Tucsonman on July 19, 2014 at 5:31 pm

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.

Tucsonman on July 19, 2014 at 5:23 pm

I’ve got the original grand opening ad here:

Silicon Sam
Silicon Sam on January 16, 2013 at 6:11 pm

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

rivest266 on January 7, 2011 at 4:09 pm

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

CSWalczak on June 21, 2010 at 12:52 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:

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on July 14, 2009 at 11:00 pm

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.

kencmcintyre on December 23, 2008 at 6:29 pm

Here is a photo of Ewart Edwards, who managed the De Anza and several other theaters in the Tucson area. The photo was in a retrospective in the AZ Daily Star in October 2006, shortly after Mr. Edwards passed away.

kencmcintyre on December 17, 2008 at 7:18 pm

I posted the story, but then it changed screens to say I had to log in to return. Does it show the story when you click on the link?

kencmcintyre on December 17, 2008 at 7:13 pm

That’s cute. Anyway, the story says a real estate developer wants to turn the property into a retail center.

kencmcintyre on December 17, 2008 at 7:11 pm

The De Anza may be doomed, according to this May 2008 article from the Arizona Daily Star:

KingBiscuits on March 29, 2008 at 9:44 pm

Weird thing I noticed looking through Tucson Weekly archives: when they played the second show of Casino at around midnight, only the first half was shown. I bet this caused lots of complaints from night owls.