At one time, the Holiday Twin Drive In Theatre was a big part of Fort Collins life. The theater opened in 1950 and had two large screens and two drive-in restaurants located on the premises. During its peak years, it could accommodate 2500 cars for each screen–5000 people per show! It became a hang-out spot for high school students across the city as well as locals alike.
The Holiday Twin first started to decline in 1977 when I-25 bypassed it and made access easier to other theaters with multiple screens–the Holiday Twin had only two. Luckily, though, it rekindled itself throughout the ’80s when Riverfront Park was built by converting open parking areas into large band pavilions that attracted many local and worldwide brands.
It was also around this time that the Holiday Twin Drive-In started to show porno films with family-friendly features. But when the band pavilions started to age, flea markets took their place and little by little, made the drive-in theater obsolete until it finally closed in 1989 and was demolished a few years later.
The land is now occupied by the City of Fort Collins Public Works Department but remnants can still be seen from Old Town as you drive towards Harmony Road that leads to where it used to stand: two brick columns with “Holiday” written on them are all that remain adjacent to the parking lot for City of Fort Collins Waste Water Treatment Facility which is located directly across from Overland Trail Museum. The lot is also used for parking during summertime Farmer’s Markets are held weekly on Saturdays year-round.
“Holiday” was the name of the drive-in’s mascot that hung outside each screen entrance. In a 1953 ad by Holiday, the mascot is described as “a friendly moose with a hand for everyone”. A picture of him was published in an article in The Rocky Mountain Collegian, May 15th, 1951 when the drive-in first opened. Where Holiday’s spirit now rests is anyone’s guess…
The Holiday Twin is featured on one of the first ’52 Coca Cola calendars–the drive-in closed a few months after this picture was taken (1951) “Holiday” Mascot and two-column markers are the only remnants that remain today.
After being open only two years, Holiday Twin Drive In Theatre had already become a landmark in Old Town Fort Collins…sadly it would never regain its former glory after I-25 bypassed it back in 1977. The movie screen is to the right–one of only two that remained standing today.
Pavilion used during flea markets held on weekends throughout the mid-’80s until the theater closed in 1989–this area became known as Flea Town USA and had literally hundreds of booths selling everything from antiques, artwork, clothing, knick-knacks, tools, crafts, toys to just about anything you can picture.
It was a quite colorful place and very popular with the locals – sadly this area is now undeveloped and used for parking during summer Farmer’s Markets are held weekly year-round on Saturdays.
The final movie showings were seen on June 18, 1989 – “Glory Days” starring Ralph Macchio.
It was replaced that fall by an outdoor flea market and later, a Farmer’s Market on Sundays. These events are still held today for locals to sell their goods year-round on Saturdays.
During the ’80s, Holiday Twin Drive In was renamed ‘Flea Town USA’.
The pavilion/band stage area was replaced by flea market booths in 1986.