New owners, old business: Redland’s drive-in theatre returning to Lufkin

REDLAND'S THEATER

LUFKIN, Texas (KTRE) - Redland’s Drive-in theatre is coming back to Angelina County this year.

The site will be located in the exact same spot where it all started on U.S. Highway 59 leaving Lufkin, headed towards Nacogdoches.

Old business is now new. Redland’s drive-in theatre is returning to Lufkin.

“Our big hope with this site and everything that we do is we want to be restorative as much as possible,” said owner Andrew Thomas.

Thomas said Lloyd Gillespi owns the 10-acre property as well. They plan to keep the original field, screen tower, and logo artwork.

“Hopefully we can move the next marquee in and keep it. Obviously, we will fix it back up, as it’s in a state of disrepair. We want to keep the general feel the same as it was back in the 1950s when it was originally built,” Thomas added.

They plan to open on Memorial Day weekend.

“Then our second phase will be to add a second screen. We want to be able to play a good mix of family product, such as G and PG movies. As well as PG-13′s movies for older teenagers and adults,” Thomas said.

According to Thomas, there has been about 10 drive-ins theatres built in Texas over the past fifteen years.

“I have a lot of experience in the drive-in theatre business. We own two other drive-in locations. So, one of the things that we do want to bring as we come to this project is a lot of the advancements that have come along the last few years and decades in terms of technology,” Thomas explained. “One of the other things we want to do is online ticketing. You will still be able to purchase tickets when you arrive as well. We expect this place to be busy and popular, so you might want to buy your tickets ahead of time.”

Thomas said drive-in theatres have been having a renaissance for the last 20 years.

“What has really happened since COVID-19 is it has put into people’s mind that drive-ins are a thing that exists, and it is making people think, ‘Man, it would great if we had those again.’ Well, we have had them the whole time. They never went away,” Thomas added.

Thomas said preliminary cleanup has already begun at the site, and the majority of the construction will begin in about two weeks.

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