GRANBURY – The Brazos Drive-In Theatre in Granbury has been showing first-run movies since opening night June 5, 1952, when the theater featured “The First Time,” a family comedy starring Robert Cummings and Barbara Hale.
Featuring two cartoons each night, the drive-in initially charged 49 cents per person, but Wednesday and Thursday were “bargain car” nights when enthusiastic moviegoers could pile in station wagons for 60 cents per carload.
After 60 years of continuous operation, the Brazos Drive-In is now for sale, looking for its fourth owners and caretakers. Current owner Jennifer Miller says she is ready to retire. As the third owner of the Brazos, Miller preserved the valuable North Texas landmark and kept it open for more than 27 years, the longest of the theater’s owners. Miller said the Brazos Drive-In is a thriving, viable business and bonafide tourism attraction for Granbury, which she said she would like preserved.
“The Brazos Drive-In has been part of my life for years. My kids grew up working there, and the theater is near and dear to my heart,” Miller said. “I want the Brazos to always be a thriving regional theater and vital attraction for Granbury.”
When it opened, the Brazos featured in-car speakers and the latest in sound and projection equipment. But today, like other mom-and-pop drive-ins nationwide, the Brazos must upgrade to new digital projection technology in order to stay open.
According to Miller, the cost of such an upgrade will be $70,000 to $100,000. The drive-in and its 5 acres are for sale for $575,000.
With a 35-feet high and 70-feet wide and its original ticket booth, marquee and concession stand, the Brazos is an established and familiar landmark on the west end of downtown Granbury. In 2003, the City of Granbury designated the Brazos as a Granbury Historic Landmark. In 2010, Preservation Texas named the Brazos as one of Texas’ Most Endangered Places.