Cactus Drive-In

1610 Yale Boulevard SE,
Albuquerque, NM 87106

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: All State Theatres, Commonwealth Theaters Corp., Video Independent Theaters Inc.

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Cactus Drive-In

The Cactus Drive-In was the first drive-in theatre in the state. It was opened September 26, 1947 with Fred MacMurray & Anne Baxter in “Smokey”. In May 1959 it was taken over by Video Independent Theaters Inc. and was closed on September 28, 1975.

Contributed by J House

Recent comments (view all 6 comments)

rivest266 on August 18, 2013 at 5:53 pm

September 26th, 1947 grand opening uploaded in the photo section.

NS7X on April 14, 2017 at 7:58 pm

My mom and dad, Lois and Glenn Ream, operated the Cactus from its opening. They lived in a small apartment which was located at the base of the screen house. The drive-in also had a cactus garden for people to wander around. One of the cactus plants, a cholla is still extant. I know because it’s now in my yard.

Kenmore on April 15, 2017 at 7:25 am

You can still see a few of the ramps.

MichaelKilgore on May 20, 2019 at 9:55 am

The April 10, 1954 Motion Picture Herald reported that the Cactus had widened its screen to 100 feet.

The June 5, 1954 issue added that the Cactus had installed CinemaScope and magnetic sound.

MichaelKilgore on January 21, 2020 at 3:23 pm

Boxoffice, April 6, 1959: “The Cactus and Star drive-ins, Albuquerque, N.M., which have been operated by Albuquerque Theatres, will open this year under the banner of the Video Independent Theatres. Video Independent, under the direction of James Griffing, also operates the Terrace and Duke City drive-ins, Albuquerque.”

In my book, Drive-Ins of Route 66, I wrote that the Cactus' final night was Sept. 28, 1975. I’m pretty sure I got that from ads in the Albuquerque Journal.

MichaelKilgore on February 1, 2020 at 4:26 pm

Boxoffice, Aug. 13, 1962: “Albuquerque Theatres, which recently returned to the drive-in business with reopening of the Star and 66 drive-in theatres, has added a third outdoor house, the 800-car Cactus. Operation of the latter was taken over from All States Theatres, effective August 1.”

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