Rogers Drive-In

14543 OK-20,
Claremore, OK 74019

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Griffith Amusement Company, Video Independent Theaters Inc.

Styles: Pueblo Moderne

Nearby Theaters

No theaters found within 30 miles

Rogers Drive-In

Don’t know if from the Rogers Drive-In folks could "sit and gawk, and watch a hawk making lazy circles in the sky", for Claremore is the actual setting for the fictional musical play “OKLAHOMA!” It was also the setting for the dramatic play “Dark at the Top of the Stairs”. Home town of famed actor Will Rogers, the Rogers Drive-In was named in his honor.

Though somewhat smaller than most outdoor theaters with a car capacity of only 264, it still had a good size screen tower. The Rogers Drive-In was opened on May 31, 1950 with Rod Cameron in “The Plunderers”. It was initially operated by the Griffith Amusement Company, and later by Video Independent Theaters Inc. It was closed in October 1996 and the facility has since been torn down.

Contributed by Cosmic Ray

Recent comments (view all 17 comments)

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on March 16, 2010 at 8:26 pm

Wait Don’t do it!If you can’t get the facts right it ain’t worth getting “called on the carpet” for a mistake and believe me if some guys and catch a small mistake i made on a few Augusta theatres,just think you being in a larger city they will eat you alive. I am a Scorpio.{not that i give it any creedence]

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on March 17, 2010 at 3:21 pm

I mean Tlsloews i have been corrected on THEATRES I managed.Ain’t worth it unless you can do like Nick and spend hours in research.

whorton on July 13, 2012 at 3:13 pm

Come on guys. . this one is easy…

From the AIDA database. .

CLAREMORE (Rogers Co.)

Rogers Drive-in (article, ad)

Grand opening Friday, Jun 16, 1950

Location: N 36° 18.46', W 95° 34.33'

Location given as 1 ½ mile East on Highway 20

Operated by Video Theatres 16 June 1950 to 3 May 83

AKA GRIFFITH which became VIDEO theatres…

Listed in 1955 Theatre Catalog with a capacity of 300

Listed in 1960 International Motion Picture Almanac with a capacity of 296

1984 IMPA lists Video Theatres as owner.

Aerial photo suggest remains Actually very little. A part of the fence and a bit of the entrance concrete. .

Wesley Horton AIDA

jwmovies on February 26, 2019 at 8:28 am

A more accurate address for this theater is 14613 Oklahoma 20, Claremore OK 74017. This points directly to the drive in itself.

Please update.

Kenmore on April 18, 2019 at 2:42 pm

The address provided by jwmovies points on Google Maps to a auto-salvage yard that is next-door to where the drive-in once stood.

A more accurate address for Google Maps is 14543 OK-20, Claremore, OK which is the address of the East Side Mini-Storage which currently sits on the property.

You can see some of the ramps from the old drive-in on the north side of the property.

MichaelKilgore on May 8, 2019 at 12:56 pm

Google Earth, using a USGS aerial, showed the Rogers still active-looking as of February 1995. It was completely gone by the next photo (from the USDA Farm Service Agency) in 2003.

MichaelKilgore on June 9, 2019 at 6:02 pm

More details of the opener were in the July 22, 1950 issue of BoxOffice:

CLAREMORE, OKLA. – With a large neon portrait of Will Rogers adorning the front, the new drive-in named for the famous Oklahoma humorist here recently was opened. Calvin Council is manager of the open-air theatre. A 50-foot screen tower supports a 29x39-foot screen. A building in the center of the parking area houses the projection booth and a concession stand. A playground for children is one of the features of the new drive-in.

MichaelKilgore on September 29, 2021 at 6:28 pm

The Claremore Daily Progress, April 19, 2014: “The Rogers Drive-In showed its final movie in 1997. A short time later it was leveled to make room for a rental storage complex.”

However, a long article in the Daily Progress, reprinted in the Okmulgee Daily Times on Nov. 1, 1996, sure made it sound like the Rogers closed that year. “On a recent Sunday evening … It’s time to say goodbye to an old friend … Leo D. Woodall has owned the theater for 15 seasons now. In the film room he watches the final frames click, click, click … "I hate to see it go down,” Woodall says. “It’s like giving a child up, it really is. I’m sorry for the people. A lot have expressed their dissatisfaction on it.” … Theater manager Carol Heaton … has said some goodbyes tonight. She will be forced to say more before the last movie is complete … Woodall says he won’t be here when the screen comes down. He couldn’t bear to watch it … The last car exits, turning west toward Claremore. The lights are flicked off forever."

dallasmovietheaters on January 28, 2022 at 10:30 pm

The Rogers Drive-In reportedly launched May 31, 1950 with “The Plunderers” by Calvin Council and the Griffith Circuit and named for the late actor Will Rogers.

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