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And the West is History: Basin Drive-In – 1950

Originally called the Basin Drive-In, this 350-car outdoor movie venue sprang up at 2250 Main Ave. in 1950. Drive-In theaters were becoming very popular as more Americans became car owners and the film industry looked for ways to compete with the new medium of television. The theater had a playground for kids and a very popular concession stand. It even operated well into the winter some years. In 1956, T.R. Knox bought the business, changing the name to the Knox Drive-in. Then in 1958, Tom Wade became the owner and changed the name yet again, this time to the Bell Drive-In. It was closed and removed after the 1962 season. Today, this site along Junction Creek is part of Durango High School. Tennis courts and ball fields occupy much of the viewing area, the light-colored area near the bottom of the photo. – Ed Horvat for Animas Museum, edhorvat@animasmuseum.org (Catalog Number: 21.04.1 from the La Plata County Historical Society Photo Collections)