Tennessee Drive-in Movie Theatres

At the time that America was entering the Second World War,
there were barely 100 Drive-in movie theatres across the U.S.
And within 10 years, Tennessee by itself would have that many!

As was true for most of the American states, the peak years
for outdoor theatres in Tennessee were 1957-1959, after which
their numbers declined ..  although the descent (rate of attrition)
was not as steep here as elsewhere. In comparison to the peak years,
now 87% of Tennessee's Drive-ins have gone dark or been demolished,
although it remains one of the better Drive-in states, with 15 still open.

On an UP note:   three of those in operation are "revived" Drive-ins, with
one more opening in the pipeline, expected to be lit-up by Summer of 2003.

Here are the remaining Drive-ins that you can enjoy and support:

 Athens, Tennessee

  • Athens (McMinn County) Tennessee
    Midway Drive-in:  423-263-2632
    located at 2133 Highway 30 East

    Large solo screen lit with double features; occasionally,
    D2D:   annual Dusk-till-dawn screenings are presented
    in conjunction with the July 4th & Labor Day weekends.
    Admission: $5 (for ages 12&up); Sunday is Carload Nite -
    with a $6 admission per carload covering all passengers.
    There is also a FleaMarket SwapMeet here on Saturdays.

 Bristol, Tennessee

  • Bristol (Sullivan County) Tennessee
    Twin City Drive-in:  423-764-8033
    located at 2512 Volunteer Pkwy (Route 11E/19)
    1 mile north of Bristol Motor Speedway

    Well-maintained solo screen in a very picturesque
    and mostly rural setting; screening double features
    on weekends only (Fri/Sat/Sun). Admission: $5 for
    ages 12&up; $2 for Children (7-11); 6&under free.

  • Carthage (Smith County) Tennessee
    Green Hills Drive-in:   DARK
    located on Highway 25

  • Centerville (Hickman County) Tennessee
    Pink Cadillac Drive-in:  931-729-2386
    located at 2506 Highway 100

    Solo screen, lit with a double feature each nite,
    on weekends early and late in the season; and open
    seven nites each week during peak summer season.
    Admission: $5 Adults & ages 11up; ages 10&under free;
    discounted admission on Monday evenings - Family Nite.

  • Cookeville (Putnam County) Tennessee
    Putnam Drive-in:   GONE
    located on Nashville Road

 Dickson, Tennessee

  • Dickson (Dickson County) Tennessee
    Broadway Drive-in:  615-446-2786
    located at 3020 Highway 70 East

    Solo screen, lit-up with a single feature each weekend
    (Fri/Sat/Sun). BoxOffice opens at 7pm; w/movie @Dusk.
    Admission:   $4 Adults (12up);   $2 Children (ages 4-11);
    children of ages 3 and under are admitted free.

 Dunlap, Tennessee

  • Dunlap (Sequatchie County) Tennessee
    Dunlap Drive-in:  423-949-3759
    located southwest of Chattanooga on Highway 127

    The Dunlap has been lit since the summer of 1950
    and has been operated by the current owner since
    September of '63. The solo screen is being lit with
    a double feature on weekends early/late in season;
    7 nites during peak summer season. Audio provided
    via local FM radio broadcast. BoxOfc opens 30 mins
    prior to showtime.   Admission is   $5 per person.

  • Elizabethton (Carter County) Tennessee
    Stateline Drive-in:  423-542-5422
    located at 2306 State Line Road

    A small-town solo screen with some nice classic
    touches, from the retro marquee, to maintaining
    many of the original car window speakers (movie
    audio is also provided with AM radio broadcasts).
    Screens double features wknds only - Fri/Sat/Sun.
    Admission: $5 Adults (12&up); 11 and under free.

  • Etowah (McMinn County) Tennessee
    Midway Drive-in Theatre:  423-263-2632
    located at 2133 Highway 30 East

    Solo screen lit with a double feature on weekends only.
    Sunday nite is carload nite - $6 to cover all passengers.
    There is also a Flea Market SwapMeet here on Saturdays.

 Gallatin, Tennessee

  • Gallatin (Sumner County) Tennessee
    Sumner Drive-in:   GONE
    formerly located at 1401 Nashville Pike

  • Harriman (Roane County) Tennessee
    Midtown Drive-in Theatre:   865-882-6119
    located at 2734 Roane State Highway (Hwy 70)
    2mi off I-40 (exit 350); 30mi sw of Knoxville

    Restored and revived Drive-in with a solo screen
    lit-up on weekends only (Fri/Sat/Sun), with a double
    feature; audio provided via FM radio broadcasting.
    Adm:   $4 age 13&up; $2 ages 6-12; 5&under free.

  • Helenwood (Scott County) Tennessee
    Sky-Vue Drive-in:   DARK

    Photo: Society for the Preservation of Outdoor Theatres
 Lafayette, TN

  • Lafayette (Macon County) Tennessee
    Macon Drive-in:  615-666-4411
    located at 3570 Scottsville Road - Route 10
    (approximately 40 miles northwest of Nasville)

    Tennessee's second-oldest continuously operated
    Drive-in theatre is this venerable & very rural solo
    screen which has remained lit for more than half
    a century - tucked just south of the Kentucky line,
    in north-central Tennessee. The 70' wide screen is
    lit with a single feature in spring & fall; with double
    features during peak season; with audio provided by
    FM radio broadcasting for up to 250 cars. Snackbar is
    open early (and with good reason) at 5pm, and features
    one of the more imaginative menus. BoxOfc opens at 7pm.
    Admission:   $4 Adults; $3 Children (5-10); kids under 4 free.

 Lewisburg, Tennessee      HI-WAY 50 DRIVE-IN 
 Lewisburg, Tennessee

  • Lewisburg (Marshall County) Tennessee
    Hi-Way 50 Drive-in:  931-270-1591
    located at 1584 Fayetteville Highway {431}
    (from Nashville:   I-65 south, to exit 37) ..

    Tennessee's oldest continuously operated Drive-in
    opened back in '46 and its screen tower is one of
    the few remaining examples of the screens that
    were typical in the very early days of the outdoor
    Picture Show.   Double features; weekends only.
    Audio provided with digital stereo (98.9 FM) radio.
    Admission:   $5 (13&up);   $2 Children (ages 6-12).

  • Maryville (Blount County) Tennessee
    Parkway Drive-in:  865-379-7884
    located at 2909 E. Lamar Alexander Pkwy (Hwy 321)

    Restored and revived Drive-in with a solo screen
    lit-up on weekends only (Fri/Sat/Sun), with a double
    feature; audio provided via FM radio broadcasting.
    Adm:   $5 age 13&up; $2 ages 6-12; 5&under free.

  • Memphis (Shelby County) Tennessee
    Southwest Twin Drive-in:  901-785-5450 DARK
    located at 4233 South 3rd Street

    * Although this may not be a permanent scenario,
    the Southwest Twin was not open for Season 2002.

 Memphis, Tennessee

  • Memphis (Shelby County) Tennessee
    Summer Quartet Drive-in:  901-767-4320
    located at 5310 Summer Avenue

    Tennessee's largest Drive-in cinema is open wknds
    early & late in the season, and 7 nites peak season;
    lighting each of its 4 screens with a double feature.
    Admission: $6 Adults (12&up); ages 11&under free.

  • Newport (Cocke County) Tennessee
    Woodzo Drive-in:   GONE
    formerly located at 1030 West Highway 25

    LIFE AFTER DEATH:   The old Woodzo may be gone, but
    all of the equipment was acquired for the purposes
    of establishing yet another Drive-in for Tennessee.

     Sign of the times: 
 has re-opened in Sparta, TN

  • Sparta (White County) Tennessee
    Sparta Drive-in:   931-739-8000   RESTORED
    located at 220 Roberts Matthews Hwy {111}
    (or from I-40W, take Exit 288- south to Sparta)

    For years, the only   feature   visible here had been the
    often seen   Ravages of Neglect. The sequel however is
    much better, and, has a happy ending .. the old Sparta
    was revived and reopened for Season 2002, and its solo
    screen is now lit with double features 3 nites of the week:
    Friday/Saturday/Sunday, rain or shine (gates open 7pm).
    Admission:   $5 Adults; $2 Children (6-12); 5&under free.

  • Watertown (Wilson County) Tennessee
    Stardust Drive-in Theatre:   615-237-0077  
    located on Tennessee Boulevard at Purple Tiger Dr.,
    (35 miles east of Nashville)

    Tenessee's next contribution to America's Drive-in
    renaissance will be this newly constructed outdoor
    cinema and entertainment venue expected to open by
    the end of June (2003). Initially, and during its very first
    season, the Stardust will have a 60' wide solo screen
    and a capacity for up to 275 cars.   A second screen is
    planned for 2004, plus increased capacity for 550 cars.

  • Waverly (Humphreys County) Tennessee
    Valley Drive-in Theatre:  931-296-4500 / 800-821-2179
    located on Highway 70 (2 miles west of town)

    The Valley was a late arrival to the scene, having been
    built approximately 10 years after the peak of America's
    Drive-in boom, back in '67, and owing to the fact that it is
    very well maintained, it looks even more recent. A single
    feature is screened each nite, on weekends early & late
    in the season; 7 nites of the week during peak season.
    Admission:   $5 adults (13&up);   ages 12 & under free.

 Make use of this stamp:  
 send us a Letter about 
 Tennessee  Drive-ins!

If you are aware of any Drive-ins
that we seem to have missed, or
would like to contribute any
information to our efforts,
please use this envelope
to send a letter to us.

 The Guide to Drive-in Movie Theatres

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