Trail Drive-In

7720 E. Amarillo Boulevard,
Amarillo, TX 79121

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Trail Drive-In

The Trail Drive-In opened on April 29, 1948 with Randolph Scott in “Gunfighters”. It was operated by W.O. Beardon, who later operated the Sunset Drive-In and Tascosa Drive-In. From 1971 until 1983 when it closed it was screening adult movies. Car capacity was 400.

Contributed by Lost Memory

Recent comments (view all 10 comments)

Silicon Sam
Silicon Sam on September 14, 2009 at 5:52 am

Only logical place for the drive in on E. Amarillo Blvd….. 1991 view shows the same outline, but with no buildings or structures on site.

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NYozoner on December 26, 2010 at 1:16 pm

7720 E Amarillo Blvd, Amarillo, TX 79121

This address will map to the location of the drive-in. The drive-in is visible using Google Earth.

ronnwood on October 21, 2013 at 7:49 am

I was only at The Trail Drive-in once. The movie was so bad I never even listed it in my Movie Log. After the closure of the air base and the diminished traffic and activity in that direction the Trail was doomed. They tried X-rated movies for a while then Spanish flicks and amazingly ran family pictures for a month or so but it closed long before all the other drive-ins in town except the Palo Duro. Shortly after that it burned down. I don’t know why so many Amarillo drive-in screens burned down.

MichaelKilgore on June 5, 2019 at 1:04 pm

From the June 1, 1966 Amarillo Globe-Times:

A fire at the Trail Drive-In Theater, 7500 E. Amarillo Blvd., early this morning caused an estimated $4,500 damage, including heavy damage to the movie screen.

The blaze was reported to Amarillo firemen at 3:19 a.m. The first report came from a passing motorist and the second call was made by an employe of an all-night service station across the street from the drive-in.

La Roy Doyal of 1313 Avondale, manager of the theater, said the exact cause of the blaze has not been determined, but it is believed to have resulted from faulty electrical wiring.

Doyal said the theater would not be able to reopen until repairs could be made to the electrical circuits and the movie screen rebuilt.

MichaelKilgore on May 29, 2020 at 1:45 pm

The last year that the Trail advertised regular movies in The Amarillo Globe Times was 1970. By 1971, it was showing X-rated movies. On January 27, 1977, the Globe Times reported that the Trail was still active and still X-rated.

John Margolies shot a photo of the Trail in 1977, and it still had an Open sign visible in the box office window. That picture is available at the Library of Congress.

davidcoppock on June 1, 2020 at 7:14 am

Opened on 29/4/1948 with “Gunfighters”.

MichaelKilgore on November 1, 2021 at 4:31 pm

DavidZornig, that’s very helpful, unique information! The Motion Picture Almanac dropped the Trail in 1977, perhaps because it was X-rated by then, and that’s all I could find. Where did you get that date?

DavidZornig on November 1, 2021 at 5:53 pm

Unfortunately that was over a year ago so I don’t recall. I usually garner such information from various local Facebook pages related to any given town or city. But I don’t see any images that I’ve added from such for the Trail Drive-In, so no way to connect the info with one of those groups.

MichaelKilgore on November 9, 2021 at 6:21 pm

Your note inspired me to take a closer look at the original hi-res TIF of the photo that John Margolies took in 1982. Straining against the Kodachrome grain, I can see a small Coca-Cola-topped message board in the boxoffice window. I can’t make out the words, but the four lines look like “Admission $? / (two short words) / All Movies Rated / X”. So now I’m sold on the idea that the Trail was open at least that long.

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