Sky Vu Drive-In

2315 S. 9th Avenue,
Durant, OK 74701

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Rowley United Theatres Inc.

Nearby Theaters

April 2,1957 Sky Vu Tornado

Prior to his retirement, Durant’s very successful T. Miller Davidge opened the Sky Vu Drive-In on September 29, 1949 with Burt Lancaster in “Desert Fury”. In 1952 he turned the theatre business over to Ship Bullard who in turn opened the 480-car capacity Ship Drive-In. The Sky Vu Drive-In was operated by Rowley United Theatres Inc. when it was destroyed by a tornado on April 2, 1957.

It was rebuilt and reopened on June 20, 1957 with Craig Stevens in “The Deadly Mantis” & Lex Barker in “The Girl in the Kremlin”. It was closed on November 28, 1964 with Michael Callan in “The New Interns”. It went over to screening adult movies and finally closed on August 11, 1985.

Contributed by Billy Holcomb / Billy Smith / Don Lewis

Recent comments (view all 9 comments)

Kenmore on November 15, 2014 at 9:03 am

Drive-In located south of town on what is now Bus. US69. Approximately 1925 South 9th Ave. You can still see the ramps.

jwmovies on February 26, 2019 at 10:46 pm

A more accurate address for this theater is 2315 S 9th Ave, Durant, OK 74701. This points directly to the drive in itself. Now Bryan Animal Hospital. The address above is the Durant Stockyards next to the theater.

Please update.

Kenmore on July 14, 2021 at 4:50 pm

For a drive-in that was supposedly destroyed in 1957, it looks pretty intact and well-maintained in a 1981 aerial photo. This does not mean that the drive-in remained open after 1957, but the screen does appear intact along with the projection booth/concession stand.

A 480 car capacity seems pretty excessive given the size of the drive-in. More like 250 cars at most.

kennerado on July 14, 2021 at 6:29 pm

I’m thinking it was actually rebuilt as I can see newspaper advertisement’s for it from around 1958-59ish.

dallasmovietheaters on July 22, 2021 at 6:01 pm

The Sky-Vu launched September 29, 1949 by T. Miller Davidge with Burt Lancaster in “Desert Fury” supported by a cartoon. It was demolished by a tornado on April 2, 1957. desert fury movie. The theatre was rebuilt relaunching as the Sky-Vu Drive-In relaunched on June 20, 1957 with “The Deadly Mantis” and “The Girl in the Kremlin.”

jamestx234 on October 4, 2021 at 4:31 pm

The drive-in, located on 10 acres south of the city limits, included a children’s playground, a snack bar and patio with metal chairs, modern restrooms, individual car speakers, a 35’ by 45’ screen, and a brand-new ramp system wi th numbered rows and a red light that flashed when a row was full. The snack bar offered hot dogs, popcorn, cold drinks, candy, and coffee. There was even a “bottle warmer” to encourage parents to bring their babies to the show with them. In 1952 Shipman Bullard opened the Ship Drive-In on North First, with features comparable to those of the Sky-Vu.

dallasmovietheaters on December 9, 2022 at 6:50 pm

Appears to have ceased advertising following the November 28, 1964 showtime for “The New Interns.” That would time out with a 15-year opt out of a potential leasing agreement that may have ended the Sky-Vu’s run.

Kenmore on December 9, 2022 at 9:00 pm

It certainly looks well maintained in a 1974 aerial. Even in 1981 the drive-in is in excellent shape.

50sSNIPES on April 1, 2023 at 7:11 pm

Yes Kenmore, and Dallas is wrong actually. The Sky Vu was still in operation into the 1980s along with the Ship. However during its last few years of operation, the Ship Drive-In is the only “appropriate fare” drive-in in Durant, as both the Plaza Theatre and the Ship Drive-In screened first-run films. The Sky Vu however in the other hand screened adult films during its last few years of operation.

Both the Ship and the Sky Vu closed for the final time in August 1985 within a week apart. The Ship closed on August 4, 1985, and the Sky Vu closed on August 11, 1985.

After the closures of both theaters, the Plaza Theatre became the only movie house in town until January 1991.

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