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Americana lives on at landmark drive-in

The Admiral Twin opened early for the 2016 season due to spring-like conditions in March. The iconic drive-in is playing double features Friday through Sunday nights as it begins its 65th season after being rebuilt as one of Tulsa’s original landmarks.

“Right now drive-ins are hot again as far as trendy. It’s nostalgic, and it’s a different experience to watch movies outside,” said Blake Smith, owner of the Admiral Twin. “Multiplex movie theaters become a little bit of a sterile environment. It’s very Americana. Tulsa’s kids went here, and now they grew up and are taking their kids.”

Whether it’s the sense of nostalgia which brings families to revisit mom and dad’s old stomping grounds, or the long established tradition of taking a date and watching a movie as a glorious sunset fades or the proud car owners who come to show off their cool rides, the drive in offers something for everyone.

Movie enthusiasts of all ages will be able to sit beneath the stars and watch a movie just as the movie-goers of the past came and watched when the Admiral Twin opened in 1951.

“It [Admiral Twin] allows people of all ages the ability to experience the past, and what it was like
to go to a movie back in the day,” said Cole Warren, Tulsa Resident. “It was especially this way when the drive-in was wooden, before the tragedy of it burning down, but now that it is back up and running it has been a privilege to go back and see movies at such a wonderful landmark.”

The Admiral Twin was originally a nine-foot-tall tower with plywood used as a screen, but a fire destroyed it in 2010. The people of Tulsa were heartbroken by the loss of the iconic landmark, but in 2012 the drive-in was rebuilt and is now made of metal. People can once again drive on Interstate 244 and see the screen light up the night’s sky as it plays premieres of popular movies on warm evenings.

The movies playing are not decided until the Tuesday before. Movies coming soon to the drive-in include: “The Boss,” “The Jungle Book,” “The Huntsman: Winter’s War” and “Captain America: Civil War.”

Story by Emerald Dean, Photo by Samuel Levi

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