New neon sign installed for TeePee Drive-In in Sapulpa

A new, 30-foot-tall neon sign for the soon-to-reopen TeePee Drive-In theater in Sapulpa, Oklahoma, was installed this week.

According to the Sapulpa Times, the sign still awaits electrical work and some neon finishing around the edges.

In a follow-up comment, the Times reported the theater will reopen next spring. The owners had hoped to reopen the long-shuttered venue this year, but supply-side shortages prevented that.

The Kante Group, which owns several other historic buildings in Sapulpa, purchased the Tee Pee property in 2021. The ownership group plans to add 12 vintage trailers, a playground, a dining area and shopping to the property.

The TeePee Drive-In was built in 1950. Its last movie was shown there in 1999 or 2000.

In 2012, the Florida-based operator tried a lease-purchase agreement of the TeePee with the intent to reopen it, and a bunch of volunteers pitched in to help clean up the property.

But he ditched the project after it was discovered he’d operated a series of failed or abandoned historic theaters across the country and used several aliases. Also, there were liens against the property — keeping him from managing it.

The theater’s location is 1705 W. Highway 66, on the old Ozark Trail alignment of Route 66. That semi-rural stretch served as the Mother Road from 1926 to 1952 and includes the 1925 Rock Creek Bridge as a landmark.

UPDATE: The TeePee posted more photos of the sign:

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