Admiral Twin opening set for this weekend
BY MICHAEL SMITH World Scene Writer
Thursday, February 28, 2013
3/01/13 at 10:28 AM
The Admiral Twin Drive-in opens for 2013 this weekend, with images flickering to life on the giant double-screen tower from 35mm prints.
Friday and Saturday will kick off with the west side of the drive-in showing a double-feature of “Jack the Giant Slayer” (7:10 p.m.) followed by “Beautiful Creatures” (9:10 p.m.) and the east side showing “Safe Haven” (7 p.m.) followed by “Warm Bodies” (9 p.m.). Tickets are $7 for adults, $3 for kids ages 3 to 11, and free for ages 2 and younger.
The picture show will also continue through the fall, when Hollywood stops shipping films on film to theaters. The drive-in is going digital by May.
The reality for any theater not converting to digital by later this year — and industry reports show that 90 percent of America’s 364 remaining drive-ins have yet to do so — is to face closing.
Admiral Twin co-owner Blake Smith didn’t work to bring the Admiral Twin back to life last year following a devastating fire only to see it close anytime soon. He’ll make the conversion — at costs estimated at about $70,000 per screen.
“We had a great year last year, with people coming back to the drive-in, and basically the money that we made last year will go toward going digital,” Smith said. “The goal is to have it up and running by May 3, when ‘Iron Man 3’ opens.”
When the drive-in reopened post-reconstruction last June, cars waited in line for hours as Tulsans hoped to be among the first to return to the 62-year-old icon.
Smith knows better than to expect a June-sized crowd when he opens the gates on Friday; he can’t offer June-quality weather.
Friday and Saturday are both forecast with high temperatures in the low 40s, with temperatures dipping into the 30s soon after the sun goes down. The following weekend, highs are expected to rebound into the mid-50s.
“Hey, bring your blankets this Friday, and we’ll be serving coffee and hot chocolate,” Smith said with a chuckle. “I’ll be bundled up in the box-office hoping that somebody will show up, standing in there with my space heater.”
Read more on this story in Friday's Tulsa World.
The Admiral Twin Drive-in advertises some of the movies that will open the 2013 season this weekend. JAMES GIBBARD/Tulsa World