Peso Drive-In

3720 W. Van Buren Street,
Phoenix, AZ 85009

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Harry L. Nace Theatres

Previous Names: Twin Drive-In, Acres-Peso Drive-In, Acres of Fun Drive-In

Nearby Theaters

Undated print ad courtesy of Ted Okuda.

The Twin Drive-In was opened in 1951. It became the Acres Drive-In from April 11, 1952 and on July 18, 1952 the second screen opened as the Peso Drive-In. They had a combined car capacity for 800 and were operated by the Harry L. Nace Theatres chain. In 1955 only the ‘North Screen’ (Peso Drive-In) with a capacity for 400 cars was operating, screening Spanish language movies, and it was still open in 1957. On September 1, 1960 the screen was blown down. The drive-in was closed until 1962 when it reopened with a new screen. It was still open in 1975. Now a trailer park.

Was mentioned in the documentary "Drive-In Movie Memories" in 2001.

Contributed by Dave Bonan

Recent comments (view all 15 comments)

NYozoner on January 11, 2015 at 9:56 pm


Open air theatres are generally walk-ins. They probably were accommodating walk-in patronage as well as people inside vehicles.

rivest266 on November 14, 2015 at 5:46 pm

April 11th, 1952 grand opening ad as Acres Drive-In

rivest266 on November 14, 2015 at 5:47 pm

18 de julio 1952 gran anuncio de apertura como Peso Drive-In

rangerxlt on January 12, 2016 at 4:35 pm

I too watched movies from the roof of the home I grew up in. Phoenix was a great place to live in the 70’s. My friends and I also would sneak into Acres Drive-in through a opening we made in the fence. We would sit next to cars parked for the movie and enjoyed the show.I remember watching The Posieden Adventure Whiteline Fever just to name a few. During the summer break we would actually climb up into the movie screen to the top and catch pigeons. Very dangerous it had to be over 100 feet high. But when your a kid it was an adventure. I also remembering eating popcorn the snack bar would put out after the shows. We had a blast.. Good Times….Larry AKA Bighead in 1974

Shawn_B on August 12, 2017 at 12:21 am

The Acres/Peso Drive-ins were on that industrial park. I believe the screens for both were in the middle, back to back. The Reynolds Aluminum plant was across the street.

MichaelKilgore on October 1, 2019 at 12:32 pm

April 26, 1952 Boxoffice: “PHOENIX – The Twin Screen Drive-In, which closed early last January, has been reopened by Fred Crockett and Harry L. Nace as the Acres of Fun. Only one screen is being utilized, reducing the capacity of the airer, formerly a McCormack-Nace enterprise, to around 625 cars. The duel screen outdoorer was the largest drive-in in the state under its original operation. The current manager is Otto Silvester.”

50sSNIPES on January 22, 2020 at 2:57 pm

UPDATE: After The Screen Was Blown Down In September 1st, 1960; The Screen Was Rebuilt And Opened It A Couple Of Years Later. The Acres Drive-In Was Still In Operation Since 1975 As Southwest’s Acres Drive-In.

davidcoppock on April 27, 2020 at 3:25 pm

Opened with 2 colour cartoons(not named). “Red skies of Montana” and “Cave of outlaws”.

MichaelKilgore on October 9, 2021 at 11:17 pm

Motion Picture Herald, Aug. 2, 1952: “The Peso drive-in is the new name of the re-opened North screen of the former Twin Open Air drive-in, operated by the Harry L. Nace Theatres. South screen has been operating for some time under the name of Acres-Of-Fun.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 10, 2021 at 12:05 am

So, putting the information in all these comments together, the operation was opened by McCormick-Nace Enterprises sometime in 1951, probably late in the year, as either the Twin Drive-In, the Twin Open Air Drive-In, or the Twin Screen Drive-In, which was closed in early January, 1952. Then one screen was reopened April 11, 1952 by Crockett and Nace as either the Acres Drive-In or the Acres of Fun Drive-In, and then the second screen was reopened as the Peso Drive-In (or perhaps El Peso Drive-In) on July 18, 1952.

It sounds like the Peso (or El Peso) Drive-In might have shown Spanish language movies. That would have been a good move at that time. Phoenix probably already had two or three Anglophonic television stations by 1952, but probably didn’t get a Spanish language station until the 1960s at the earliest. Spanish language movies kept a lot of southwestern theaters open long after many theaters in other parts of the country lost their audience to television.

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