Warrego Drive-In

Warrego Road,
Warrego, NT 0852

60 cars

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Warrego Mine & Drive In Theatre near Tennant Creek, NT Australia  (Photo courtesy Northern Territory Library)

Warrego Drive-In opened in 1979 at the Warrego mine site(unknown what was mined there) by Jim hunt with space for 60 cars and an area for walk in’s(number of chairs unknown?). It closed in 1984. Unknown if still there unused or if mine still operating?

Contributed by David coppock

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film on April 26, 2018 at 9:51 pm

Greg Lynch says – “The Warrego Drive In Theatre” operated between 1979/1984. – In 1979 Bob Burton (owner of The Tennant Drive In) purchased an open-air walk-in theatre built by Jim Hunt on the Warrego mine site. The Warrego Mine (copper-bismuth-gold) is located just off Warrego Road in the centre of the Northern Territory, situated about 840km south-southeast of Darwin). Jim Hunt had built an open-air walk-in theatre on the mine site screening one night a week, but was struggling to make it pay because of the transport costs in freighting film. Bob Burton moved in and developed a 60 car drive-in theatre with individual car window speakers, plus a covered seated area. When able costs were saved by switching films between Tennant Creek and Warrego. As part of the deal Jim Hunt stayed on as projectionist (Fred McKinley later replaced him). The Warrego Drive In was equipped with Cummings and Wilson projectors (C&W), Raycophone (model CP10) soundheads with Westrex carbon-arc lamphouses. Ann Wilson recently published – “Great picture theatre at Warrego. The speakers were originally on the side of the projection box and you could hear most of the movie throughout Warrego. Great news when we actually got the speakers for the cars installed. Sorry to say I was one of the people that forgot to put the speaker back and ripped it out. The night the projection box caught fire was catastrophic, we were out of movies for a few weeks”. During the early 80’s video stores opened nearby in Tennant Creek, this along with television caused a major drop in the available picture going public. The Warrego Drive-In closed in 1984. Video Tape, Television and a changing social environment had reduced attendances dramatically … Bob sold up, along with his drive in theatre at Tennant Creek. (the era had finished and the screens were dark) and he eventually moved to Darwin. The Warrego mine commenced in the late 1950’s and operated as a mine until late 1989. – This writer is indebted to local Tennant Creek identity & historian, Pam Hodges for her contribution to the history of “The Warrego Drive In Theatre” – Visit Pam Hodges C/– http://fortennantcreekers.com/picture-theatres/

davidcoppock on July 10, 2019 at 4:41 am

The chairs used in the walk in area came from the old Pioneer Open-air Theatre in Tennant Creek.

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