A Local Limelight: Admiral Twin Drive-In

By Matty Mooney

Picture this: It’s a hot summer’s night and the sun has just set beyond the horizon. You and your friends pile up into your mom’s old Subaru and drive to South Tulsa for the main event. Tonight is the anniversary showing of The Outsider’s and you couldn’t be more excited. With a cool breeze on your face and a bucket of fresh popcorn in hand, you turn up the car radio just as the opening title starts to play on the wide magnificent screen. Sound familiar? This is Tulsa’s very own Admiral drive-in, an all-around Tulsa classic. The theatre has been here since opening in 1951. 

The Outsiders House Museum
A still from The Outsider’s Drive-In scene, courtesy of https://www.theoutsidershouse.com/

“When I was little, I lived just down the street from the Admiral Twin. My sister and I used to sneak over and watch the movies through the fence; it was exciting to see the action on the big screen even if we couldn’t hear anything”, Lesleigh Clayton, Jenks Teacher, tells the Torch. “On special occasions, we’d get in the car and go as a family, but because we didn’t have a lot of money, my siblings and I would hide under blankets.” 

Generations of people have grown up with the Drive-in including Clayton, and it is a staple to the community. Regardless of family size or background, people found love and child-like wonder in the theatre. The Drive-in still standing here today is a testament to that. 

“I do have fond memories of the place from when I was a kid. I remember going to double features with my mom. The first film was always more family-oriented and the later was for the grown-ups, like rated-R,” Clayton continues, “After the first movie, my mom would tuck us in the back of the car and encourage us to go to sleep so that she could enjoy the late show.”

Cars pass through the front of the drive-in to buy tickets. Credits to Pinterest and Josh Friedrich.

One can always feel a sense of nostalgia with places like the Drive-In, And the memories Clayton made there as a kid represent it. With anniversary showings of 80’s classics such as The Outsiders, or new movies being brought to the big screen today, like Godzilla vs King Kong, and The Croods: A New Age, there is a movie for everyone, and every family should go to make new memories. Want to purchase tickets for the next showing? Visit the Drive-in’s website here: https://www.admiraltwindrivein.com/

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