Re-opening night at the Admiral Twin

It’s not often you hold a soft opening for a business, and a sell-out ensues.

But that’s what happened Friday night with the re-opening of the Admiral Twin Drive-In in Tulsa, nearly two years after a fire destroyed its iconic double-screen. Not only did the theater fill to its 1,200-car capacity, but was turning away customers.

This early video from KOTV in Tulsa, using its helicopter camera, shows how long the line of cars were:

We arrived on Easton Street at 6:15 p.m. — about 45 minutes before the theater’s gates would open. The line of cars already was a quarter-mile long.

Finally, about 8 p.m., we got to the entrance.

Admiral Twin Drive-In owner Blake Smith was among those selling the tickets. He apologized to customers in advance for any kinks that might pop during the reopening night.

Once inside, you could see that not only was the double screen rebuilt into a fireproof metal structure, but the new building underneath serves as a concession stand and restrooms:

I really liked the overhead lighting in the concession stand, which was insanely busy all night:

One of the things you could take home from the stand’s wares was a souvenir cup:

Another fast-selling item was the new Admiral Twin T-shirt, which acknowledges the fire and rebuilding as a part of its long history:

Near the screens, face painting for the kids was offered:

And a rock band performed until about 15 minutes before the first movie. Yes, the percussionist is slapping out a rhythm on a wooden box:

As you might expect, a number of classic vehicles were driven to the Admiral Twin for the occasion:


And listen to the audience whoop it up when the first preview — Tim Burton’s “Frankenweenie” — and the feature film, “The Avengers,” are projected on the screen:

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