Motor VU History

Motor Vu Drive In History


The Drive In was just built. Notice the screen. It was built in the proper format of the day
with a black border painted around it for a nice clean edge.

Later, when Cinemascope arrived, the screen was redone in the new wide screen format. The material for the screen back then was the same material that is in the bottom dark
section of today, but, the screen material that is used today is corrugated sheets of tin roofing material.

Also, notice the back few rows were not finished. They put a Go-Cart track in for a few years until the attendance was at capacity. Then they removed the track and created the rest of the rows to fit more cars.

There was also a woodend fence built around the property. It had to be painted every 3 years. The screen (front and back) also had to be painted using various mechanisms with pulleys, scafolding and ladders. It was a lot of hard work.

They also built a house to live in after this photo was taken. It is at the entrance to the Drive In.

Also, notice the snack bar. It later had an addition built on the back to expand the snack bar for more needed space. You can see the addition in later photo's.

drive in sat

The Drive In opened Wednesday, July 22, 1953.
The opening features were Branded, starring Alan Ladd and Meet Me At The Fair, starring Dan Daily and Diana Lynn. Both Features were in Technicolor and there were 2 cartoons.

meet me at fair

It was Oregon's Most Modern Theatre. We are the 4th owner.
The original owner and builder was Donald E. Wernli, and also purchased the Rio Theatre in Dallas, now the Fox Theatre.


Last 2 rows of Motor Vu were a Go-Kart Track up until attendance
was at capacity, then they created the last 2 rows.


Don walking in snow near Exit

mv behind

Back side of MV. Notice house wasn't built yet near entrance.

drive in don
This is Don Wernli in the Booth.
drive in jeri
This is Jeri Wernli helping a customer at the Snack Bar.
square screen
The black border around screen is painted white
for the wider movie format (before Cinemascope)
don booth
This is Don Wernli in the Ticket Booth.
jeri sign
Don and Jeri Wernli in front of Sign
projector don
This is Don Wernli in the Projection Booth.
rear view
Cinemascope has arrived!
Majestic Theatre circa 1947: closed in 1959, just down from the Rio (now Fox)
Motor Vu Marquee
Don and Jeri at the Snack Bar
NATO banquet in San Francisco
open ad
Opening Day Ad!
mv art1
night majestic
Majestic at Night
mv 2
News Article
mv 3a
Retired in 1979, Golf, Memories
mv 3