For an updated look at Tucumcari, New Mexico, check out these posts on my new site, Everyday Wanderer

Abandoned Westerner Drive-Inn Along Route 66 in Tucumcari

Ranch House Cafe Along Route 66 in Tucumcari, New Mexico

The approximately 2,450 miles of pavement connecting Chicago and Los Angeles known as Route 66 is a fascinating piece of American history, especially when you can see the slow evolution, or in most cases the continued decline, of  iconic sights along the way.  On the stretch of Route 66 running through Tucumcari, New Mexico, home to more than 40 amazing murals by artist Doug Quarles, is the long-abandoned Westerner Drive-Inn.

At the bottom of my post, I’ve added a selection of photos from the past ten or more years taken by various photographers around the world so that you can compare my photos from March 2016 to how the Westerner Drive-Inn has deteriorated over time.,

The abandoned Westerner Drive-Inn sign in Tucumcari, NM

Taken just after sunrise in March 2016, the old Westerner Drive-Inn is just a skeleton of its old glory.


All that remains of the old Westerner Drive-Inn kitchen and drive-in

Once surrounded by more than twenty drive-in parking spots under a canopy, this is all that remains of the old Westerner Drive-Inn. See it as it once existed here.


The mixer is all that remains of the Westerner Drive-Inn kitchen

This industrial mixer, clearly visible through missing doors and broken glass windows is all that remains of the abandoned Westerner Drive-Inn kitchen.

See how the Westerner Drive-In has changed over time.  Here is a selection of photographs of the old Westerner Drive-Inn from other photographers.  Check them out to see the changes in the abandoned building over time!  Do you have a photo to add to the list below?  Leave me a note in the comments section with a link to your photo and the approximate month and year it was taken.

  • July 1956.  The Westerner Drive-Inn before the decline of Route 66 began with the Interstate Highway Act signed the same year:  see it here
  • 1995.  The Westerner Drive-Inn as it appeared in the Tucumcari High School yearbook:  see it here
  • 2000(ish).  This photo was taken around the time the Westerner Drive-Inn closed:  see it here
  • In 2002.  Side-by-side photos of the drive-in taken by Tommy the Cat in 2002 and 2009:  see it here
  • December 2003.  Westerner Drive-Inn photograph by Light Rain Productions:  see it here
  • After 2003, but before 2012.  Taken by Harry Pherson, this shot shows that the entire canopy of the drive-in and the top portion of the drive-in sign are gone:  see it here
  • October 2012:  The Westerner Drive-Inn as captured by Vincent Demers:  see it here
  • December 2012:  Frank Romeo‘s photos of the abandoned drive-in:  see them here

Join the conversation! 2 Comments

  1. Please upload the pictures directly to your post. For those of us without Facebook. Thanks


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About Sage Scott

Shutterbug Sage began as a 365 photo project.


Close, Closer, Closest, One Thing, Three Ways, Travel


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