Midway Drive-In

10701 I-20 Frontage Road,
Merkel, TX 79536

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Additional Info

Previous Names: Pioneer Drive-In

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Midway Drive-In

The Pioneer Drive-In opened around June 1950 and was operated by H.T. Hodge of H & H Theatres. In 1957 it was still known as the Pioneer Drive-In, but was later renamed Midway Drive-In. When I found and photographed the Midway Drive-In about 25 years ago it had a screen and ticket booth that were standing but had just about been overgrown with mesquite, brush and weeds.

Contributed by Don Lewis

Recent comments (view all 9 comments)

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on April 24, 2010 at 2:32 am

My 1956 Almamac has a PIONEER DRIVE-In there parking 350 cars.

TLSLOEWS on April 24, 2010 at 2:40 am

Do not loose that book Mike.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on April 24, 2010 at 3:08 am

I will put it in my will to you. Nick has one i gave him I think 1960. If I had another I would mail it you for free. oh, It might cost you a 007 onesheet.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on April 24, 2010 at 3:11 am

Go to 104 Street Drive-in.Tlsloews. Try and beat that story. You big city Theatre managers.

NYozoner on December 26, 2010 at 8:53 am

The location of the drive-in is on north side of US 84 (which is also I-20)about one mile west of Merkel. Heading on I-20 Frontage Road, it is on the right just past County Road 379.

Here is an aerial photo from 1954, courtesy of Earth Explorer and USGS:


MichaelKilgore on June 9, 2019 at 12:22 am

Looks like the drive-in opened as the Pioneer. The July 8, 1950 issue of BoxOffice reported, “MERKEL, TEX. – N. T. Hodge has opened the Pioneer Drive-In a mile west of town. It has a prefabricated swing-up tower, the first of its kind in the state. It is a 300-car project, with individual car speakers. Hodge operates the Queen and Texas theatres here.”

kennerado on November 12, 2019 at 12:42 pm

A more accurate address is 10701 I-20 Frontage Rd, Merkel, Texas.

MichaelKilgore on April 18, 2020 at 9:38 pm

Billboard, Sept. 20, 1952: “Norman T. Hodge has added several improvements to his Pioneer Drive-In at Merkle, Tex.” (But the note didn’t mention what they were.)

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