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Admiral Twin Theater: A Route 66 attraction

Ponyboy Curtis, member of teen gang, the greasers, in Tulsa, sneaks into the “nightly double” to spend time with friends and meet girls. Of course, this is a work of fiction written in the famous book, “The Outsiders,” and was created into a film in Tulsa.

The iconic location where S.E. Hinton’s work is honored is at the Admiral Twin Drive-in located on I-244 near historic Route 66. This theater is where several scenes of “The Outsiders” was shot. The drive-in theater still features movies every weekend.

Drive-in theaters were the place to be on Friday or Saturday nights in the 1950s and 1960s. Movies are projected onto large outdoor screens. Originally, speakers were placed by each parking station for viewers to listen to the movie. Now, viewers tune in via FM radio.

“It’s a completely different experience and completely laid back,” said Blake Smith, owner of the Admiral Twin.           “Some people come out in their pajamas, and you can see kids running around. It’s a little bit like going out to the park; it’s like an Imax outside.”

The Admiral Twin first opened in 1951 as “The Modern Aire Drive-In” and originally featured one screen. About two years later, the theater decided to expand to two screens and changed the name to Admiral Twin Drive-in.

Disaster struck the theater back in 2010 when a fire destroyed the wooden structure that supported the screens.

Tulsa residents, many who remember the filming of “The Outsiders,” were distraught. Witness Roger Connelly told NewsOn6 that he and his wife had their first date at the Admiral Twin.

After the fire, the theater owners were determined to rebuild the iconic structure. They rallied the public and were able to raise $30,000 to rebuild the Admiral Twin Drive-in.

“We had to figure out how to raise money to rebuild the structure. It was a bit of an ordeal,” said Smith.

The Admiral Twin made a grand reopening in the summer of 2012.

Visitors can expect resonable prices of $7.50 for adults and $3.00 for children ages three to 11.

According to Smith, the concession items are three-fourths of what an indoor theater charges and has a much wider selection ranging from popcorn to hamburgers.

For the same price of a single indoor movie ticket, viewers will be able to watch a double feature.

The theater is currently open on weekends only. Customers can enjoy a drive back in time at the theater that offers a unique opportunity to watch a film on a warm summer night while lying on the hood of a car or sitting in a lawn chair.

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