Rice Drive-In

201 Marion Avenue,
El Campo, TX 77437

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Frels Theaters

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Rice Drive-In

The Rice Drive-In opened March 24, 1951. It was owned by Frels Theatres chain from Victoria, Texas, who also owned the Normana Theatre in El Campo, TX. Its parking ramp held 300 cars with in-a-car speakers. It also featured benches in front of the concession stand for people without cars to enjoy the movie.

In 1955 improvements were made to the drive-in which included a completely paved parking ramp, new playground equipment which included swings, merry-go-round, slides and see-saws. The concession stand was remodeled along with the screen tower being rebuilt for screening CinemaScope pictures. The Rice Drive-in was finally closed on August 10, 1979. It had been demolished by 1981.

Contributed by Bob Machann, Randy Studer

Recent comments (view all 6 comments)

kencmcintyre on September 18, 2007 at 6:21 pm

This drive-in was part of the Frels Theaters chain in the early sixties, along with the Floyd and the Normana in El Campo.

sepiatone on February 17, 2010 at 9:29 pm

The Rice Drive-In opened at 7:00 p.m. on March 24, 1951. Among the first movies shown there were George Brent’s “Silver Queen”, Lex Barker’s “Tarzan’s Magic Fountain”, and “The Sundowners” with Robert Preston.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on February 17, 2010 at 11:05 pm

As stated above in 1956 it held 300 cars and was owned by Rubin Frels. ELCAMPO was home to the EAGLE DRIVE-in too.

TLSLOEWS on February 21, 2010 at 8:41 pm

But how many boats and planes will it hold Mike.

sepiatone on January 10, 2011 at 2:00 pm

The 1963 El Campo City Directory lists the Rice Drive-In at 100 Marion Avenue (just off South Mechanic). William Spooner was the manager.

Kenmore on January 21, 2022 at 9:13 am

A 1981 aerial shows the drive in demolished.

Today, apart from a faint outline, there is no trace of the drive in remaining.

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