The 99W Drive In , located in Newberg, OR is the last active drive in theater in the Portland metropolitan area. Opened in August of 1953, the 99W was built by J.T. (“Ted”) Francis and has been owned by the Francis family for generations since. One of the first feature films to be shown was Sea Devils starring Rock Hudson.
The 99W is on its third screen. In 1962, the first screen was destroyed and the marquee letters lost to the Columbus Day Storm. After a gust blew down the second screen in 1990, it was replaced by using the screen salvaged from another (closed) Portland area drive in, The 104th Street Drive In.
In 1983, a Twin Cinema Indoor theater was built on the 99W’s property in order to keep business going year round. Since 1994, business has picked up strongly again for the drive in, after a somewhat stalemate around the 1980s and early 90s. The indoor theater has 225 seats and admission is $5.00 (kids age 11 and under $4.00). The drive-in has a capacity to park 275 to 300 cars with an admission price of $8.00 (kids age 6-11 $4.00, age 5 and under are free). The Twin Cinema is open year round and the 99W Drive In is open from late April or early May until late October.
For an added bit of nostalgia, the owner sometimes slips in old movie trailers from the 50s, 60s, or 70s and always shows a classic intermission snack bar reel. There are plenty of regulars and even folks who drive all the way from Washington to visit the 99W. If you are ever in the area, do yourself a favor and visit!