R.I.P. Fort Worth Twin Drive-In

Posted: November 2, 2007 in The Roper Files

east-screen.jpg 

Saw something really depressing today. Went to work, did eight hours and then took a spin down East Lancaster. Went by the Fort Worth Twin Drive-In, which has been shut down for thirty years and is now fenced off and now home to a gas well. I shouldn’t have been surprised but the east screen was face down and a wrecking ball was poised to take down the west screen. Ah…”progress.”

About a year ago, I got really excited when I noticed someone had leveled the 30-year-old trees in between the screens. Was the drive-in going to re-open? No such luck; they erected a shiny razor-wire fence around it and soon afterwards a gas well was soon put up between the screens. Where are Fort Worths homeless going to camp out now? The last movie I can remember seeing there was ULTRAMAN in 1977;  it closed soon afterwards. For nearly 30 years it was basically an open campground for Fort Worths ever-growing number of  homeless.

I took the top picture about ten years ago. Followed a extremely over-grown path that I think originally was the entrance almost all the way up to the east screen and consequently removed a lot of paint from the sides of my truck getting to it. My friends and I came here often during the 70’s to park, party, and take in a film or two. Saw an incredible triple feature of SLEEPER, BANANAS, and LOVE AND DEATH on the west screen with a friend of mine one night when it was about 20 degrees outside. We passed a bottle of whisky (among other things) between us to stay warm. Makes me sad to think about an entire generation of young people who will never know the sheer unadulterated fun of watching movies under the stars; what a shame. west-screen.jpg 

Didn’t hang around to watch them tear down the west screen. (shown above) Too sad; too depressing. Also East Lancaster is not an area conducive to loitering. Between the locals and the police, it can be hazardous. Don’t know why I’m surprised; it’s been long over-due for years. Had to happen sometime. But it’s like watching a relative on life-support finally go. Inevitable, but sad nonetheless. 

But like the monolith in Stanley Kubricks 2001, the screens have stood watch over Fort Worth for years; iconic landmarks from another time. They have survived near-direct tornados, fierce hailstorms, etc.  but they couldn’t out-live “progress.” So farewell Fort Worth Twin. Only weirdos like myself will miss you, but you will be missed nonetheless. As for the gas wells, this town needs another tornado.

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