Midway Drive-In Theater

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midway aerial photo

This is an aerial view of the Midway Drive-In theater at 4500 East Speedway Boulevard, taken in June of 1953.

The drive-in was built in 1948 and was the second drive-in Tucson. The 1st drive-in, the Tucson Driv-In on South 6th Avenue, built by RCA, had closed in 1942 due to WWII gasoline and tire rationing.

This theater was owned by Midway Enterprises which also owned the Prince Drive-In a few years later and eventually owned a chain of drive-ins in other states. It was later purchased by the Cactus Corporation which became the De Anza Land and Leisure Corporation.

I'm not sure what the square near the screen was. At one time, they gave outdoor band concerts at the theater and it may have been seating for that purpose. The screeen tower was a huge corrugated steel affair with the name of the theater in neon. I remember that in the late '60's, police would have to direct traffic on Speedway when the movie was over! This probably helped contribute to it's demise.

The road to the North of the screen tower is Speedway Boulevard which is now a 6 lane major artery in Tucson. The theater was torn down in 1976 and became the Midway Center. a series of shops and businesses. This area is now almost the center of Tucson.

midway aerial photo
This is an aerial photo from Google showing the property now. It is a business park.

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Last Updated Jan. 29, 1999 GWC