ONE TANK TRIPS: Chief Drive-In Theater

Updated: May. 31, 2017 at 9:18 PM CDT
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(Source: KSWO)
(Source: KSWO)

CHICKASHA, OK (KSWO) - At one point, it was hard to find a town that didn't have a drive-in theater, but now there's only seven left in the state with the closest one in Chickasha off Highway 81. The Chief Drive-In theater has been in Chickasha since 1949.

Barbara Egbert's love for the drive-in goes back to when she started working there as a 16-year-old. She worked there until two days before she had her first child, then took a job at the local newspaper where she worked for more than 20 years. The drive-in called out to her again, this time with a for sale sign.

"I asked my husband, I said 'I'd really like to do that' being my first job, and being my last job," Egbert said. "So I thought well this would work and he said 'Yeah, go for it!' We decided we'd buy it so we've had it for about 11 years."

Egbert said the drive-in is a tradition for many in the area.

"It's old-fashioned," one moviegoer said. "The music that's playing is old fashioned, the concessions, the food, it's just different and I like it."

After the sun goes down, cars start rolling in. Egbert said the most people they've ever had come watch a movie, under the stars, was 1,200.

Since this movie going experience is different than what most people are used to, movie goers like to become creative when it comes to where and what they sit on at the drive-in.

"We have people come in pickups and put mattresses, we've had some teenage boys bring recliners and put them out in front of their truck and sit and recline back," Egbert said.

Moviegoers that don't want to stay in their car or bring their own lawn chairs can sit in theater seats located by the concession stand. Once they figure out how and where they want to sit, the next step is picking your favorite food from the concession stand.

Egbert said their burger basket is great but isn't the most popular because popcorn is the favorite.

The drive-in is a family business, with employees who are like family, and she wants to make sure that all families feel welcome.

"People that just had newborn babies can't take them to the theaters. You can't take two-year-olds to a normal theater, but here you can come and sit in your own car," Egbert said.

To also keep the kids occupied the theater has games of miniature putt-putt, in front of the big screen, before the movie start and they recently put sand out to help keep the kids entertained.

"I try to get family friendly movies, that's what my goal was," Egbert said. "To have a place in this town that families could come, bring their little kids."

During the summer, the drive-in is open seven days a week and they start the movie once the sun goes down. The cost to see the movie is $7 at the gate and if you have children three to eleven it's just $5.

If you want to know what they're showing next go to their Facebook Chief Drive-In Theater.

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