To anyone just passing through, Lamesa, Texas, is just another tiny farming town. With a population of less than 9,000, you can’t really blame them. But, just behind the vast tall grass lies a small bit of entertainment history.


            Sky-Vue Theatre opened in 1948 when movie stars like Bing Crosby and Bett Grable took over the silver screen. Moviegoers could drive to the theatre to watch movies from one of the 530 parking spots or walk in and watch from the seating section. And as the parents enjoyed the new movies and the teenagers enjoyed each other’s company, the younger kids got to have their own fun. Just below the massive viewing screen was a playground complete with metal slides, mini-merry-go-rounds, swings, and even a lookout tower. Sky-Vue was a place for the whole family. The concession stand had all the classic movie snacks, but patrons also got to enjoy the one-of-a-kind “Chihuahua” sandwich, originally conceived and introduced by the theater owners. But these facts aren’t what make entertainment history.

Theatre Owner R.A. “Skeet” Noret wasn’t just great a making great sandwiches. He also had a good eye for talent. NPR’s Fresh Air had a 1994 interview with western swing vocalist Don Walser. In the interview, he describes something unimaginable to those who weren’t around for the simpler times. Walser said, “There was a drive-in theater in Lamesa, Texas. Skeet Noret had this old drive-in called the Sky-Vue – and, in fact, it’s still operating. It’s one of the last ones that hadn’t been closed down. And he had a big projection room there that he – and he had a little stage on top of it, and he’d bring in guys like Hall Nicks and Buddy Holly, and they would have them come down and play at the Sky-Vue between the movies, you know, and I would share bills with one of them.” Before huge record labels and concert venues, country musicians depended on any publicity they could get back then. Lucky for those boys, Sky-Vue had to have been a nice stop on the way to music history.

Sadly, a fire broke out in the iconic concession stand in 2015, and was abandoned soon after. Sky-Vue is no more, but even though the historic theatre met a sad end, it will live on in the minds of many as a reminder of happiness and of the classic American experience.

If you are interested in seeing the drive-in’s forgotten remains you can visit The Out Seers on YouTube. The old theatre has been forgotten in time but somehow still seems preserved.


Cinema Treasures:

CBS7 News- Sky-Vue Theatre


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