According to the Tulsa World, the Admiral opened in 1951 as the Modernaire on East Admiral Street. By 1955, it had been renamed Admiral and had added its second screen. Its two-sided screen tower is unusual; most multi-screen drive-ins project from a central building in different directions. The Admiral projects from two sources to the east and west sides of its screen tower.
One more thing about that Tulsa World article. It says that there’s absolutely no outside food or drink allowed, but it also quotes co-owner Blake Smith as advising, “Come out and get a good spot … walk around, drink a beer. Yes, I’m aware that people bring beers inside the drive-in.”
Perhaps the most famous incident in the Admiral’s history was when the painted plywood screens on that tower burned to the ground in late 2010. Thanks in part to fundraisers, the Admiral rebuilt its screens and reopened in 2012. Last year, USA Today readers voted it the 8th best US drive-in.
I missed Opening Day by less than a week; the Admiral will start its 2017 season this Friday, March 10.
Miles Today / Total: 115 / 8312 (rounded to the nearest mile)
Movie Showing / Total Active Nights: dark / 38
Nearby Restaurant: There’s a great place for seafood right nearby, the White River Fish Market. I picked a dish I can’t get just anywhere, broiled rainbow trout, and some cherry cheesecake for dessert. I think that if I can stick to just one meal a day like this one, the calories are worth it.
Where I Virtually Stayed: While the Hilton Garden Inn Tulsa Airport is especially convenient to, y’know, the airport, it’s also one of the nicest places that’s pretty close to the Admiral Twin. Good wifi, a mini-fridge in the room, and breakfast for this Hilton Gold member made it a safe choice for the night.
Only in Tulsa: Some folks in Tulsa seriously hope to host the 2024 Summer Olympics. The Tulsa Exploratory Committee web site says. “The Tulsa2024 committee believes a theme of Native America would make Tulsa2024 national bid, an American bid, not just a city bid, and excite the entire United States in a bid for a future Olympics.” As reported by The New York Times, “The site of the annual Tulsa State Fair, where the livestock competition is a main attraction, has a recreational vehicle park that could be converted into a broadcast hub. In their downtime, athletes could relax in the nearby Big Splash Water Park, with its rainbow spaghetti of slides and flumes.”
Next Stop: Tower Drive-In, Poteau OK.