Kelly Drive-In

1325 Frio City Road,
San Antonio, TX 78226

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Kelly Drive-In

The Kelly Drive-In opened on July 23, 1949 with Dana Andrews in Canyon Passage". It was operated by E.L. Pack & Lone Star Theatres. It was closed in 1978 and became a flea market for some time and then a junk yard which it remains today. The screen was still standing until the mid-2010’s.

Contributed by Chuck Van Bibber

Recent comments (view all 11 comments)

bobwashere on January 23, 2007 at 10:30 am

The actuall addres is 1325 FRIO CITY RD. I use to live on West Kirk and the Drive-In was my backyard. Free Spanish Movies.

driveinfan on May 25, 2017 at 7:24 am

Does anyone know when the screen tower was taken down?

TomMc11 on March 20, 2018 at 11:11 am

If you do Google Maps street view and go down Carolyn street just to the west of the drive in, it appears the base metal from the screen tower is still there as of March 2016, but the screen is gone.

davidcoppock on March 21, 2018 at 6:11 am

Why the name Kelly? Who bought the projection equipment and for how much was it sold?

MichaelKilgore on November 16, 2019 at 9:00 pm

Billboard, Oct. 23, 1954: “Sale of two drive-in theaters in San Antonio for $275,000 has been reported by Thurman Barrett Jr., owner-operator. Buyer is Lone Star Theaters, Inc., Dallas, owned by Pack-Murchison interests. The theaters are the Lackland and the Kelly.”

rivest266 on January 12, 2020 at 9:01 am

The Kelly Drive-In opened with “Canyon Passage” on July 23rd, 1949. Grand opening ad posted.

Jim on May 3, 2023 at 9:14 am

Above, davidcoppock asked why the drive-in was called the Kelly. It came from nearby Kelly Air Force Base (now just Kelly Field), west of the theater.

In 1955, my late father was manager for a short while. His hiring prompted our relocation from Kokomo, Indiana, where he’d run old the North Drive-In Theater. By the end of the year, we packed up and moved again when he was hired to manage the Surf and the Twin Palms Drive-In theaters in Corpus Christi, Texas.

I was nine years old at the time and my only recollection is listening to my dad’s voice on the theater’s speakers. He would tape pre-show messages, promoting upcoming events at the theater, mixed with songs referenced the approach of evening, like “Red Sails in the Sunset” by Nat King Cole.

Kenmore on May 3, 2023 at 9:48 am

The screen is present in a January 2008 Google Street View, but gone by April 2011.

The metal base that supported the screen is still present in a January 2022 Google Street View.

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