Y Drive-In

22513 US-59,
Poteau, OK 74953

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The Y Drive-In was opened in October 1949 and was operated by M.A. Harris. It was short lived, and closed on December 15, 1950 with Pat O'Brien in “Johnny One Eye” & Guy Madison “Texas, Brooklyn & Heaven”.

Contributed by Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 10 comments)

Kenmore on July 22, 2016 at 8:56 am

A 1955 Aerial Map shows what appears to be the remnants of a drive-in located at County Road 124 and Old Wister Highway, Poteau, OK south of the town. It was located one block to the SE of the intersection on County Road 124.

Today, the property is occupied by radio station KPRV-AM you can still see what appears to the be the ramps and perhaps the screen foundation near the road. http://tinyurl.com/hj8dsux

jwmovies on February 27, 2019 at 12:31 am

A more accurate address for this theater is 22513 US-59, Poteau, OK 74953. This points directly to the drive in itself. Now KPRV radio.

Please update.

davidcoppock on February 27, 2019 at 12:42 am

Is the Y short for something?

MichaelKilgore on June 19, 2019 at 8:34 pm

Looks like the opening was in late 1949, as reported in the Oct. 29 issue of BoxOffice that year: “M. A. Harris has opened a 300-car outdoor theatre three miles west of Pryor. He named it the Y Drive-In.”

Kenmore on June 19, 2019 at 9:14 pm

MichaelKilgore, do you mean Pryor, Oklahoma? That is about 100 miles from Poteau.

MichaelKilgore on June 20, 2019 at 5:53 am

Kenmore, while I am not immune from typos and mistakes, that quote is accurate from Page 84. I saw M. A. Harris + the Y Drive-In and put it here. Considering that there are no large Y intersections west of Pryor, my guess is that someone in the BoxOffice editorial chain typed the wrong town name.

davidcoppock on June 20, 2019 at 7:38 am

Is the only drive-in with a one letter name?

Kenmore on June 20, 2019 at 8:42 am

The quote you used has at least two mistakes, the wrong town and wrong direction. It’s actually closer to say the Y Drive-In was south of Poteau, not west of it.

Based on a 1955 aerial, I’m rather dubious that the drive-in could’ve held 200 vehicles, much less 300. But then again the information provided was probably provided by those who wanted the drive-in to sound more impressive than it was.

50sSNIPES on July 9, 2022 at 8:42 am

The short-lived 300-capacity Y opened in October 1949 after M.A. Harris, F.B. Coffey, and R.H. Coffey, all of Oklahoma City, purchased a five-acre tract near junctions of 270 and 271.

The Y closed at the end of the 1950 season (December 16, 1950 with “Johnnie One Eye” and “Texas, Brooklyn, and Heaven” along with a comedy reel) in connection on competing over the nearby Tower Drive-In.

The only fact about the Y is that the theater was once burglarized on June 28, 1950.

Kenmore on July 9, 2022 at 7:51 pm

The junction of HWY 270 and HWY 271 is the town of Whister which is about four miles from Poteau. A 1955 aerial shows no sign of a drive-in at that location, just housing and some open land. However, if a drive-in was there, it may have been totally demolished by 1955.

However, there are definitely remains of a drive-in at the junction of HWY 270 and HWY 59 which is much closer to Poteau which can be seen in the 1955 aerial. So, unless more evidence arrives that confirms the drive-in was in Whister, I think the HWY 59 location is more likely it.

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