Carload.com has learned that the Apache Drive-In of Globe AZ will reopen next Friday, May 24, for its final season. Despite its forlorn appearance just a few weeks earlier, the Apache will continue to show movies for one more year; it won’t upgrade to digital projection.
Taking a step back, when Carload expanded last year, I identified 17 active drive-ins in the Four Corners states of Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, and Colorado. If the Comanche Drive-In (Buena Vista CO) follows through on its plan to also reopen May 24, than all 17 will have survived the wave of digital conversion, at least for now.
That’s the good news. The bad news is that we’re going to lose this historic bit of Americana, which has stood for over 60 years. (According to my 1952 Theatre Catalog, the Apache was then being run by “O.K. Leonard”.) And the bittersweet news is that at least we all have this warning. If you want to experience a fine evening in Arizona’s high country, watching a movie at an old-time, intimate (300 cars) single-screen drive-in complete with old-fashioned speakers and an eternal mountain backdrop, you’ve still got a few months to visit the Apache.