Riverside Drive-In

1560 E. 71st Street,
Tulsa, OK 74136

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Griffith Amusement Company, Video Independent Theaters Inc.

Nearby Theaters

Location of Riverside Drive in

The Riverside Drive-In was originally owned and operated by Griffith Theatres when it opened on May 7, 1948 with Margaret O'Brien in “Our Vines have Tender Grapes”. By 1955 it was operated by Video Independent. The ozoner closed in 1970 and demolished in the late-1970’s. It was a single screen with a 602 car capacity. It was still open in 1984.

After being demolished the road was widened taking part of the old ozoner and an apartment complex and restaurant built on the remainder of the property.

Contributed by Chuck

Recent comments (view all 8 comments)

xxx on March 8, 2006 at 5:40 pm

Go here for complete history of Tulsa’s Riverside Drive-In Theatre;

raybradley on August 29, 2007 at 8:42 pm

See 1950s images of this drive-in by typing word “riverside,
View link

whorton on July 13, 2012 at 11:48 am

To expound on xxx’s link to my material on Mike Ransom’s excellent Tulsa TV memories site:

Riverside Drive-in Theatre (ad)

Location given as between Peoria and Lewis Ave. on 71St Street

Location: N 36° 3.64'N, W 95° 58.19'

Satellite photo shows site occupied by buildings (apartments?)

Grand opening Friday, May 7, 1948

Operated By Video Theatres 30 April 1948 until 10 Nov 1977

Opening ad states “Tulsa’s Third and Nearest Drive-in Theatre”

1948-49 Theatre Catalog lists Griffith Theatre as Exec M8-C602-D7-CH3

1949-1950 Theatre Catalog lists Ralph Talbot as Exec M9-C600-D7

1955 Theatre Catalog lists Video Theatres as owner C600

1965 IMPA lists Griffith Metropolitan Theatres as owner (Video Theatres)

1965 IMPA lists capacity as 604

1979 IMPA, lists capacity as 500. Owned by Video Theatres

1984 IMPA lists Video Theatres as owner
Talbot owned downtown theatres

Wesley Horton AIDA

whorton on July 13, 2012 at 11:49 am

Just for the record, it was not on S. Delaware, it was on the South Side of 71st street. .

jwmovies on November 15, 2012 at 4:48 pm

Approx. address for this drive-in was 1560 E 71st Street, Tulsa, OK 74136.

whorton on March 6, 2013 at 5:28 pm

Chuck, when the Riverside DI was opened in 1948, the entity was then known as “Griffith Theatres.” Griffith Theatres later became “Video Theatres.”

MichaelKilgore on October 6, 2021 at 1:15 pm

Tulsa World wrote a couple of years ago about the local White House Mansion, which looks nice when decked with Christmas lights and which was completed in 1985. We care about that here only because of one sentence, “Pieces from a defunct drive-in theater, the Riverside Drive-In, were used as support beams for the mansion’s ballroom floor.”

That story’s behind a paywall now, but you can still see it at the Internet Archive.

rivest266 on November 3, 2022 at 9:42 am

The Riverside Drive-In opened on May 7th, 1948. Grand opening ad posted.

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