A Lost Year For Tulsa's Admiral Twin Drive-In

Wednesday, September 7th 2011, 9:27 pm

By: News On 6

Lacie Lowry, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- The owner of the Admiral Twin drive-in says this year is a loss. September 3rd marked the one year anniversary of the fire that destroyed the Tulsa icon.

The grand-opening of the new theater was supposed to happen by now -- but the rebuilding hasn't even started.

The owner says red tape during the permit process took much longer than expected. The more realistic grand-opening is now next spring.

"It's been real frustrating, but I think we have everything lined out now," Blake Smith, Admiral Twin owner, said.

His target date for the rebuilt theater went from July 4th, to mid-August and now, he's just hoping to open during the traditional season start of April 2012.

Smith says proving the land wasn't in a floodplain was the first snag, and it caused a domino effect of unexpected costs.

"Even if we were in a flood plain, it didn't mean that we couldn't build right where we were trying to build, even though we are building in the same place where there was a screen tower. We would have had to change a few things," Smith said.

Smith adds that coordinating engineers, architects and contractors for everything in between takes time as well.

But it's never been hard to get fans of the Admiral Twin together. They poured out for the groundbreaking ceremony in June.

6/11/2011 Related Story: Mass Tulsa Groundbreaking Held For New Admiral Twin Drive-In

Smith says that support led to public donations of more than $30,000, thanks to fundraisers like a "Save the Admiral Twin" t-shirt sale.

The rebuilt theater will features a $400,000 steel structure with screens on both sides, new restrooms and concession stand.

Smith says all the funding is still secure and the plans haven't been changed. He says you'll start to see some construction action at the Admiral Twin soon.

This weekend, the steel is scheduled for delivery and the concrete arrives next week.

Smith said he has scheduled a cancer fundraiser at the Admiral Twin site on October 22, 2011, called Turn Tulsa Pink.


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