Cars at the Admiral Twin

Cars line up

This was the line of vehicles stretching down Easton this evening for the Admiral Twin Drive-In’s showing of the movie Cars. A line of similar length stretched out in the opposite direction. And this was a Tuesday night.

If you’re in Tulsa on a summer evening, I highly recommend paying this great old drive-in a visit. It’s on an older alignment of Route 66 just north of I-244 in Tulsa.


Before the movie started, we were treated to a parade of vintage propaganda, snack bar advertisements, and so forth. These ads would have been worth the $6.50 admission price even without the double feature. They totally reminded me of that snack bar ad they show in the drive-in scene in Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure. Here are a few peeks to whet your appetite. The stills are fun, but you really need to go watch a movie out there to get the full effect of all these great old clips:


They played the national anthem ahead of the movie, complete with subtitles for singalong purposes and stirring footage of a flag withstanding a hurricane-force gale.


This ad was made when they still popped corn in coconut oil, before everybody got all paranoid about heart disease. If I am ever lucky enough to own my own drive-in, I am going to make the popcorn with coconut oil, and atherosclerosis be damned.

snack bar

dr pepper

Note how this Judy Jetson-looking girl is enjoying a Dr. Pepper, which I think may be the official state beverage of Oklahoma.

popcorn planet

popcorn planet

See the rocket ship? It is blasting off to Planet Snack Bar, where the astronaut happily steers through a barrage of popcorn asteroids. Obviously this film was made in the ’50s. In the ’80s, we’d have had sense enough to either dodge the asteroids or shoot them to smithereens. 🙂

tune in

Snack bar: Tune in, turn on, drop out.


These hep cats are serenading the snack bar, they love it so.

church of your choice

These pious folks are advising you to attend the church of your choice on Sunday … and bring a friend.


The snack bar ads were so long that we had to have an intermission in the middle of them. Notice the copyright date: 1959. In case you couldn’t tell from the mid-century googie styling.



Groovy … I love prevues.

I’ve already raved about the movie, so I don’t need to tell you how awesome it was to watch it at a drive-in on Route 66. We hadn’t been to the Admiral Twin to see a movie before tonight, but I enjoyed it so much that I programmed the FM frequency for the west screen into the presets on my car stereo, as I expect we will be back several times before the summer is out. It was great to see all the families with kids out there. The kids went down and played soccer in front of the screen before the movie started, while their parents were busy setting up lawn chairs and getting out coolers and stuff. It was great.

I grew up in the same town as the late, great Egyptian Drive-In, home of the World’s Largest Movie Screen. I am still furious that somebody tore it down for no good reason. I have a piece of corrugated metal and a Pepsi sign I swiped from the wreckage. They make me want to cry. The survival of the Admiral Twin provides a little consolation, though.


5 thoughts on “Cars at the Admiral Twin”

  1. The fun part of “going to the show” when I was dating your dad in the late sixties was that his car (a reprobate 1959 Opel Cadet in all its magnificent, wheezing glory) was in such bad condition that he couldn’t hook the speaker inside the window without causing said window to fall out. His solution was to just hook the thing onto the top of the door frame and close the door on it. The door fit so loosely that he could slide the speaker back and forth to wherever he wanted it. Obviously, I did not marry him for his money…

  2. This brought back such great memories. I miss going to the drive-in! There were two here in my rural county. One was torn down to make way for a supermarket in 1985, the other was turned into a carwash in 2003.

    What really irked me was that the carwash one was actually making money right up until it closed. The owners weren’t making a fortune, but enough to live a pretty comfortable lifestyle. Of course, being comfortable isn’t enough when a developer offers you $5.4 million for 8 acres of land.

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