Circular Drive-in

In 1973, Lloyd Honey opened the Tricircle drive-in movie theater. It was the first-ever circular drive-in. The advantage of this was that it allowed x-rated movies to be shown, because the picture couldn't be seen from surrounding areas. This circular design was marketed as "Visible X" technology, but it doesn't seem to have caught on.

More info from Drive-In Theaters by Kerry Segrave:

Lloyd Honey of [Richland, Washington] already owned a couple of standard-size drive-ins in the area when he opened a miniature one on May 30, 1973. It was circular in shape, with 120 individiual screens each of which was 3 by 4 feet, a sixty-inch diagonal. The projection booth was located in the center of the circle, 165 feet from the viewing area. Using 120 lenses and reflecting mirrors, the image was back-projected to all the screens. Sound was picked up on the car radios. Honey said that this theater — built at a cost of $70,000 — needed just two people to operate it. While not designed specificially for X-rated films, this new theater "could very well show them," Honey conceded. He claimed that it was the "first of its kind on the West Coast." It was also the last.

According to, the Tricircle was torn down at some point, and there's now a Wal-Mart on the site.

Boxoffice magazine - Oct 20, 1975

     Posted By: Alex - Fri May 27, 2016
     Category: Movies | 1970s

Build a drive-in in '73?? They had been on their way out long before then.
Posted by Expat47 in Athens, Greece on 05/27/16 at 09:32 AM
X-rated drive in, huh? Well, at least the seats wouldn't be (as) sticky...
Posted by A Nonny Mouse on 05/27/16 at 11:57 AM
It didn't take X-rated movies at the drive-in to get the windows fogged up and the seats, ah... sticky.
Posted by Expat47 in Athens, Greece on 05/27/16 at 12:52 PM
This eliminates the fun of watching what was going on in the cars in front of you, which was often better than the movie.

Also, the traffic pattern doesn't provide a discrete place to stop and let the non-paying part of your group out of the trunk.
Posted by Virtual on 05/27/16 at 01:37 PM
I shed a tear when I heard that our dual local drive-in theatre complex, Hammer / West Lane, was razed for a Home Depot and strip mall development. This happened in the late 1980's.
Posted by KDP on 05/27/16 at 01:49 PM
It might have been more successful if dark tinted side and back windows were popular as well.
Posted by BrokeDad in Midwest US on 05/27/16 at 02:18 PM
Passion pits they were called, porn movies or not.
Posted by Gator Guy on 05/27/16 at 06:28 PM
In one town where I lived, the drive-in was torn down to build a Wal-Mart. Fast forward 20 years -- there are two newer, larger Wal-Marts, and their first building now has a multiplex and a few shops.
Posted by Phideaux on 05/27/16 at 08:17 PM
We still have a couple-- at least-- drive-in theaters in the Los Angeles area, in Industry and Santa Fe Springs.
Posted by Justin S. on 05/29/16 at 01:44 AM
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