Lafayette Lens – The L & L Motor Vu Drive-In

Stock image of cars at a drive-in movie in the 1950s or 1960s.

For this Lafayette Lens blast from the past, local history librarian Sherlene mined two newly digitized years of the Lafayette Leader newspaper, 1961-1963, unearthing some tidbits about how we entertained ourselves around here before the advent of streaming!

Hop in the car, let’s go catch a movie!
The heyday of the drive-in movie era was the 1950s and 1960s.Ad for a drive-in move from a 1962 edition of the Lafayette Leader

Ad for a drive-in movie from a 1961 edition of the Lafayette LeaderIn the August 10, 1961 Lafayette Leader, “The Parent Trap” with Hayley Mills was exhibited with a special price of 25 cents for children. The ad described the Motor Vu as being located between Lafayette and Louisville. According to the Cinema Treasures Drive-In Movies Map, the Motor Vu was located between Cimarron Dr. and Etna Ct., east of today’s Happy Paws Veterinary Hospital, and west of Stan’s Automotive and Elevations Credit Union on E. South Boulder Road.

The L & L Motor Vu Drive-In Theatre ad in the Lafayette Leader on September 20, 1962 listed major movies shown such as “Murder She Said,” starring Margaret Rutherford. Other movies the same week included “Sweet Bird of Youth” (starring Paul Newman), and “Judgment at Nuremberg,” featuring Spencer Tracy and William Shatner. A cartoon started off the evening and a sometimes a featurette also.

Why was it called the L & L?
1953 article from the Louisville TImes about the new movie drive -in movie theater.It seems likely the L & L stood for Lafayette and Louisville. A Louisville Times article dated May 14, 1953 says the L & L was built by the owners beginning in 1952 as a joint operation between Carmen Romano, owner of the Louisville Rex Theater, and Walter Houser, owner of the La-Fay Theater in Lafayette.

Whatever happened to drive-in theaters?
According to 5280 Magazine, there are still seven theaters operating in our state. Learn more: The Last 7 Drive-In Theaters in Colorado.

Keep the past alive…on the small screen! Find all of these DVDs at the Library!

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