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Pages of History: New drive-in theater opens north of town

From the pages of the Del Norte Triplicate, July 1952.

A new wonder opens tomorrow night on Wonder Stump Road. It is the Ocean Drive-in Theater, Del Norte’s first movie theater for which autos are used for seating  — you bring the auto!

The theater will handle 450 cars per performance. Located five miles north of Crescent City off Highway 101, it is managed by Dick Miller. Bill McCuen is projectionist. Proprietors are J.A. Leach, Miller and McCuen.

The main building, measuring 1,300 square feet, contains the Simplex projection equipment, measuring 40 by 48 feet. A snack bar and restrooms are part of the facilities. The structure was designed by Osborne-Wheelon.

Shows start at dusk with the box office opening at 7:30 p.m. The opening show is a double-bill, “Two Tickets to Broadway” starring Tony Martin and “Passage West” in Technicolor.

“Bring your children,” urges manager Miller.

As an incentive, he offers free admission to all youngsters under age 12. Adults pay 65 cents each, students 50 cents.

Sound equipment carries the dialogue to the individual auto. An inclined parking area assures a windshield clear view of the screen.

Supervisor on the hot seat

Supervisor Chairman George Tyron would have been sitting in a literal hot seat if he’d been there. Sometime Sunday, an errant flame wandered out of the unused fireplace in the supervisor’s room, ate its way through the supervisor’s platform, consumed the pillow on Tyron’s chair, and burned itself out.

Fire Chief William Marshall was summoned Monday to examine the blackened scene. He found that the fireplace flue also serves for the Memorial Hall furnace. He judged that hot soot had fallen onto papers shoved into the fireplace.

There is law N. of Klamath

Bill Mooney, deputy sheriff at Klamath, looks like a very cheerful Irishman. But Mooney is rugged and many a drunken logger has found himself strong-armed off to the local jail.

Klamath has long had the reputation and the jail record of being the toughest town in the county and maybe the state. Mooney maintains respect for the primary code of a police officer, using force only when the man under arrest resists. Twice, Sheriff C.W. Glover has had to coax him back to duty from retirement in Big Flat.

The schooling that made this man one notch ruggeder than the rest was the rough-and-tumble Mexican border. Mooney entered the Immigration Patrol in 1929, already toughened by five years in the Navy and sharpened by being a surveyor near San Diego. After the war and going back to the Immigration Patrol for a short time, Mooney retired and moved to Del Norte County, his old vacation spot, buying a place up on Big Flat where he could have his beloved horses.

He came down off the flat to be deputy to Glover when he became sheriff in 1946, but returned to Big Flat, saying the salary was too little for the work involved. Klamath finally got so rough that Glover begged him back with a raise as lure. Mooney has booked in over 450 names in the past 18 months. Glover has never been able to find anyone else who can do the job like Mooney.

Reach Nita Phillips at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

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