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Winchester Drive-in owner dies

Lindy Shanborn in front of the Winchester Theater. [Oklahoman Archives Photo]

Lindy Shanborn in front of the Winchester Theater. [Oklahoman Archives Photo]

Veteran cinema operator and owner of Oklahoma City's last surviving drive-in theater, Lindy Shanbour, died Wednesday. He was 91.

Shanbour was a World War II returning veteran when he got involved in real estate and buying and operating theaters in Oklahoma City. Some of the grandest movie palaces downtown were operated, at one point or another, by Shanbour.

Shanbour's love of cinema continued into his later years as he owned and operated the Winchester Drive-In in south Oklahoma City. Despite being in his mid-80s, he dedicated himself to repairing extensive storm damage at the Winchester five years ago and reopened the landmark.

Shanbour told The Oklahoman in 2012 his dedication to keeping the city's last drive-in open was a labor of love.

“I'm just blessed to be out here, I really am,” Shanbour said. “I don't know what else I can say about it. I can't put it in words. It's just a fun place to be, and the right place to be, as far as I'm concerned.”

He was on hand to celebrate its 50th anniversary earlier this year.

“This right here, this is the greatest view in the world,” Shanbour said, gazing out of his window at the drive-in back in 2012. “It's too hard to explain to other people. They just don't know. They just don't know the feeling.”

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Cathedral of Our Lady of Perpetual Help. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, 3214 N Lake Avenue. Interment will follow at Rose Hill Burial Park.