Motorena Drive-In

6400 Arapaho Avenue,
Boulder, CO 80303

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Motorena Drive-In

Boulder’s first drive-in theatre, the Motorena Drive-In opened October 1, 1948 with June Haver in “I Wonder Who’s Kissing Her Now”. It was located on East Arapahoe Road opposite the Valmont Power Plant. It was operated by Irving Gilman and United Intermountain Theatres. The Motorena Drive-In cost $85,000 to build and had a car capacity of 666. Tickets cost 60 cents for adults, 9 cents for children and children under 6 got in free. The booth was equipped with Motiograph projectors. A lumberyard now occupies the site.

Contributed by Anthony L. Vazquez-Hernandez

Recent comments (view all 4 comments)

Anthony L. Vazquez-Hernandez
Anthony L. Vazquez-Hernandez on April 11, 2015 at 1:50 pm

Was once part of the Highland Theatres chain. Should be added to the list of previous operators.

NYozoner on December 30, 2016 at 11:31 pm

6400 Arapahoe Ave Boulder, CO 80303

Now a recycling center, Eco-Cycle CHaRM: Center for Hard-to-Recycle Materials.

HERE is a 1949 aerial photo of the drive-in, courtesy of USGS and Earth Explorer.

MichaelKilgore on November 19, 2019 at 7:37 pm

Motion Picture Herald, Sept. 25, 1948: “Irving Gilman is building a 500-car, $75,000 drive-in at Boulder, Colo.”

MichaelKilgore on February 21, 2020 at 10:55 am

The first program at the Motorena, on Oct. 1, 1948, was a Bugs Bunny cartoon, the Technicolor two-reeler “Power Behind the Nation,” and the Technicolor feature, “I Wonder Who’s Kissing Her Now,” starring June Haver and Mark Stevens.

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