Palo-Duro Drive-In

4111 S. Georgia Street,
Amarillo, TX 79109

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Palo-Duro Drive-In

The Palo-Duro Drive-In was opened on May 13, 1948 with Ray Milland in “California”. Initially it had parking for 400 cars. It was operated by H. Wilson, J. Fagan and Charles W. Weisenberg of W.F.W. Theatres, Dallas, TX. It was so successful that it was expanded to a car capacity for 533, and 100 seats for walk-in customers.

The Palo-Duro Drive-In closed November 26, 1967 and was quickly demolished.

Contributed by Billy Smith / Don Lewis / Billy Holcomb

Recent comments (view all 7 comments)

NYozoner on December 26, 2010 at 10:28 am

Looking at the aerial photo below, this drive-in was located directly across the road from the Twin Drive-in.

4116 Canyon Dr, Amarillo, TX 79109

This address will map to the location of the drive-in.

jwmovies on November 6, 2012 at 5:17 am

Above address does not properly. Now Golden Spread Motorplex. Use 4106 South Georgia Street to map.

LarryFM on December 27, 2012 at 1:13 am

The Palo Duro Drive-In Theatre opened on March 11, 1949. Its opening night feature was ‘River Lady’, which it also showed the next night.

ronnwood on October 21, 2013 at 4:08 am

I only saw two movies at this drive-in, “CLARENCE THE CROSS-EYED LION” and “THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING”, May 5, 1967. I remember I had no money to buy food and food was the 2nd best thing about drive-in movies. It always seemed an impressive sight to go down the Canyon E-way and there were these two drive-in theaters across the highway from each other. Of course, I remember when there was no freeway and the Canyon highway was a very dangerous 3 lane road. The Randall County Courthouse annex ended up on this spot. The Veterans War Memorial is on the north portion of the old theater property. As a kid it always seemed odd to me that the Palo Duro Drive-in was on the Tascosa HS side of town and the Tascosa Drive-in was on the Palo Duro HS side of town.

dallasmovietheaters on June 10, 2015 at 8:30 pm

On May 13, 1948, the Palo Duro Drive-In Theatre became the second drive-in theater in Amarillo. Its original mural of the Palo Duro Canyon was ready to go just in time for the first movie which was “California.“ The 400-car drive-in proved so successful that it was expanded in 1952 to 553 cars. Operated by Charles Weisenberg, Harold Wilson and Johnny Fagan, it would become a Wesienberg Theatre Circuit holding exclusively for much of its existence.

In 1953, the theater was expanded to accommodate CinemaScope. On a 20-year lease, the drive-in closed November 26, 1967 with a triple feature of “El Dorado,” “Your Cheatin' Heart,” and “The Rounders.” There was no coming back for the 21st year as the drive-in’s demolition took place less than two weeks after its last show. Original owner Johnny Fagan had come back in 1966 and 1967 to steer the Palo Duro to its closure as manager.

rivest266 on June 12, 2015 at 3:44 pm

May 14th, 1948 grand opening ad in photo section.

MichaelKilgore on November 2, 2021 at 12:40 pm

Amarillo Globe-Times, Dec. 6, 1967: “Amarillo has lost an ozoner … the Palo Duro … is being razed. The Palo Duro closed its gates permanently Nov. 26 after showing a triple feature which included "El Dorado,” “Your Cheatin' Heart” and “The Rounders.” The closing resulted from a loss of the lease on the property, an official said. The Palo Duro opened May 13, 1948 as the second drive-in theater in the city … Charles Weisenberg, Harold Wilson and Johnny Fagan were the original owners of the theater, and Wilson was the first manager. In 1954 Wilson and Fagan sold their interests in the theater. Fagan, however, did not completely sever his connection with the Palo Duro. For the past year, he has managed both the Palo Duro and Twin Drive-In. Fagan also owns the Buena Vista Drive-In in Borger … Built to hold 400 cars, the drive-in was enlarged in 1952 to accommodate 553 vehicles. A year later the screen was enlarged to allow showings of Cinemascope movies."

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