Studio Nibble : Albuquerque Drive-Ins

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About These Pages

This site is the culmination of a long series of vaguely connected events in my life.

  • Several years ago, I picked up a 1966 telephone book for the Albuquerque area at a garage sale, choosing the 1966 book over several others because that was the year I was born. Inside was a list of all the theatres in Albuquerque at the time -- including all the drive-ins. "Hmmm. I could do something with this," I thought as I flipped over to the restaurant section to look for tiki bars.

  • Returning from a conference in San Francisco in 1997, the plane approaches Albuquerque from the west, and I see a drive-in screen off to the south. A screen? There's one that still has a screen up? (Even after all the research that went into this page, I have no idea what drive-in this is or was. The Sunset Drive-In is in the right area, but it's almost directly under the approach pattern and slightly to the north.)

  • Earlier in 1998, Microsoft launches their TerraServer web site -- basically a proof-of-concept designed to convince people that Windows NT can drive a web site off a really huge database of image files, in this case a huge archive of satellite imagery. The first real-world object I tried to track down from space was the Mojave Phone Booth (760-733-9969). The second thing was the Sunset. There's something to be said for using old cold-war technology to track down old cold-war entertainment complexes. Suddenly I was...excited.

  • July, 1998. My girlfriend Amy and I take an emergency decompression trip down to Carlsbad Caverns. Two blocks south of the Holiday Inn where we end up staying is the Fiesta Drive-In. We see Bulworth, the food's great, and I'm tripping on my first real drive-in experience (the Albuquerque Six doesn't count) since 1978. Gears are definitely turning now. Next month, Amy gets me a cool camera for my birthday.

  • October 10, 1998. My pal Devin O'Leary, film editor for Albuquerque's Weekly Alibi, and I head out for the day. Mission: every old drive-in location in Albuquerque. Armed with a cheap city map marked with the locations of all the city's drainage channels from the days when my old friends and I would drive our cars around in them, and a fistful of printouts from the TerraServer site, we visit them all. The formerly-mysterious location of the Circle is revealed on a side trip to the local library, as is the existance of the Tri-C/Route 25, which we drove right past just a couple hours earlier dammit! Photographic evidence of this trip is scattered throughout the site. Drive-in logos found on this site come from copies made that day from the library's microfilm archives of the local paper.

Copyright 1998, Ernie Longmire (Lazlo Nibble). All rights reserved.