Short Stories


There was a time when most towns had drive-in theatres.  The remnants of one still existed when Ann and I came to Yreka in 1972.

During my college days they were a big deal.  I went to the University of Arizona in Tucson, class of 1964.

Tucson’s most notorious drive-in theatre was the Apache Drive-In, out on the Benson Highway.

If you parked your car on the street in Tucson, especially if it was near the campus, you likely would find a flyer on your windshield:


6 Yes 6 Features — $1.00 With This Ad Admits A Full Car!

Coffee and Dough-Nuts Free after 1 AM To All Adults!

All Prices In Snack Bar Cut In Half After 1 AM!

Elvis Is Back – Elvis Presley in two roles for the first time – Kissin’ Cousins

Bolt the Doors! – Lock the Windows! – Tony Randall – 7 Faces of Dr. Lao!

Plus – Operation Bikini – Tab Hunter and Frankie Avalon

Plus – Drag Strip Girl

Plus — Motorcycle Gang

The Apache Drive-In opened in 1955.  It closed in 1994, and was demolished the next year.

A wonderful institution now history.

I paid my dues at the Apache a few times.  The actual movies being shown were irrelevant.  No one knew what they were, nor cared.  That wasn’t why you went to the drive-in.  If you actually did want to watch the movie you couldn’t see it anyway.  The windows were too steamed up.

It was a different world back then.  Birth control pills were just in the development stage.  Horny college kids would do just about everything imaginable short of the actual sex act itself.

That’s what went on in the cars at the drive-in.  A lot of kissing and roaming hands.  And alcohol.

I have a specific memory of one night at the Apache.  There were six of us, three boys and three girls, three in the front seat and three in the back seat.  The configuration made it a bit difficult to do much.  One of the girls was the driver.

We had a bottle of whiskey that we were passing around, taking swigs directly from the bottle.

At one point the girl in the driver seat said, “I can’t believe I’m doing this.  I’m sitting here in a drive-in with Jim Beam between my legs.”

The car got silent.  It took her a few seconds to realize what she had just said.  Then, “Oh my god!  Did I just say that?”  She was mortified.  It probably didn’t help when all the other occupants of the car started laughing and making obscene comments.

A typical night at the Apache Drive-In Theatre.  Those were the “good old days.”  I think it would be fun if we could occasionally go back in time, just for a visit.

cover photo: Gemini Generated Image

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *