Green Acres Drive-In
The 1950s and 1960s were the heyday of drive-in theatres, with more than 4000 operating across North America. In 1950, a Calgary-based company opened the Green Acres Drive-In in Lethbridge on the corner of Mayor Magrath Drive South and Scenic Drive South, and two years later A. W. Shackleford and associates took over operation. The theatre had a 60-square-foot screen and a capacity of about 400 cars, later expanded to 575.
Drive-in theatres were perfect for a date—and a novelty for parents, who could bring their kids along in pjs and enjoy a late show. Green Acres wooed families with westerns and comedies; they also installed a playground, and organized Easter egg hunts, yodelling cowboy stage shows and bingo games starting at 6 pm.
Despite their popularity, drive-in theatres were limited to the summer months with long daylight hours, and many were gradually squeezed out by urban sprawl and competition from multi-screen theatres. In 1984, Shackleford commented, “I wouldn’t sink a wooden dollar into drive-ins these days.” Within two years, Green Acres had closed.