Thursday: Then and Now

Vintage photograph circa 1950, source unknown, retrieved from the Internet 29 July 2021

The Mission Road Drive-in Theater opened on the Southside of San Antonio at 3100 Roosevelt Avenue, just north of Mission San Jose on March 27, 1948 with a showing of Pirates of Monterey, quickly becoming a popular fixture in the neighborhood.  Its colorful marquee with neon lighting welcomed cars full of people to watch the latest run movies from their cars or under the stars of the Texas sky until its closure in 2000. Cinemark reopened the theater a year later as a four-screen drive-in, closing in 2003.

During the years as the Mission Four Complex, 2001-2003, source unknown, retrieved from the Internet 5 August 2021

In 2007 the City of San Antonio acquired the property and in 2010 signed an agreement with the Texas Historical Commission to “establish a partnership that would foster effective historic preservation of this important icon of Texas heritage.”

29 July 2021

The marquee and its vibrant mural depicting Mission San Jose was carefully restored with a few changes to make it culturally sensitive, omitting the original characters wearing sombreros. New LED lighting replaced the outdated neon tube lighting.  The pavement was replaced with grass and a new parking lot, restrooms, a large stage, and projection room were also added.  The Park now hosts family movie nights and other community events. 

Abandoned drive-in complex prior to restoration, source unknown, retrieved from the Internet 5 August 2021. When this screen was removed, the original stucco wall was still intact behind it, making restoration work much easier.
29 July 2021

Mission Marquee Park would officially be dedicated in June 2014 after waiting a year for the newly planted grass in the former parking area to be sufficiently established to allow use of the large park. The Park is also home to the Mission Library and the Najim YMCA branch.

As far as I can determine, this is the only remnant of the drive-in movie theaters in San Antonio. Fond memories for many of us when going to the drive-in was a fun, family night out – and very cheap!

29 July 2021

6 thoughts on “Thursday: Then and Now

  1. Thank you, Beth! What a fun place to visit! I am glad to know its history. I googled it and saw it hosts Farmers Markets and cultural events, too. Should we visit the area, (which I believe we will), I will check this place out. btw – You might want to check the date the park was dedicated.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Curious about the movie “The Milkman,” I went to Wikipedia to see what it was about. I think I would have enjoyed this one.

    “Roger Bradley (O’Connor) is the son of the owner of a milk company. He wants to get a job as a milkman at his father’s company, but his father denies it because of Roger’s after-war trauma: when he gets stressed or frustrated, he quacks like a duck. Roger gets upset at his father and does not see any problem with the quacking. In revenge, he gets a job with his father’s arch-rival, Breezy Albright (Durante) at another milk company. He becomes very successful and quickly falls in love with the boss’s daughter, Chris Abbott (Laurie).”

    Liked by 1 person

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