Virginia Drive-ins

Virginia's very first drive-in movie theatre
was built back during the war years (WWII), and
then following the Armistice, Virginia was for .. lovers
of the Drive-in ..   before the decade was out, more than
two dozen of them were already operating around the state,
and within the course of another decade, their number would
multiply six times over ... to more than 140 instate Drive-ins.

Since the late 50's heyday of Virginia's Drive-ins, their number
has declined sharply .. and 95% of them have since gone 'dark'
or been demolished.  Nevertheless, there are eight that remain,
and they're an interesting lot .. among these, the MOONLITE
has been shining brightly for over 50 years;   and the HULL's
was saved at the eleventh hour, and became America's first
community-owned not for profit Drive-in movie theatre.
If you love drive-ins, Virginia is still for lovers!

 Abingdon, Virginia

  • Abingdon (Washington County) Virginia
    Moonlite Drive-in:  276-628-7881
    located at 17555 Lee Highway (Route 11)

    The oldest continuously-operated Drive-in theatre
    in the state of Virginia (open since 1948) is also
    one of the classics that preserve the presence of
    The Past ..  from its retro neon signage, to being
    one of the last Dr'ins to provide audio exclusively
    with traditional pole speakers. The Moonlite shines
    April thru October for up to 450 cars; screens current
    double features.  Admission: $5 (free under 11 years).

  • Christiansburg (Montgomery County) Virginia
    Starlite Drive-in:  540-382-2202
    located on Roanoke Road (Route 11)

    Solo screen which has remained lit since 1952 -
    open seasonally, April thru September; screening
    single features; audio remains traditional speakers.
    Admission: $3 adults; $1.50 for children of ages 5-11.

    ITEM:   among other traditions here--  like the continued
    use of classic Dr'in car window speakers, the music for
    Stardust  is played at Sundown before the show begins.

 Fork Union, Virginia

  • Fork Union (Fluvanna County) Virginia
    Fork Union Drive-in:  434-842-3624
    located on VA Rte.612 (off US15) 1mi s. of Route 15

    Virginia's smallest Drive-in is a well maintained
    rural classic which has a grass field that is still
    sectored by traditional pole speakers for up to
    180 cars. They are open seasonally, as they have
    been since 1953; currently, 3 nites of the week, on
    weekends only (Fri/Sat/Sun) April thru October. Audio
    provided by both traditional car window speakers and
    local AM radio broadcasting. Double-feature each nite.
    Admission: $7 adults; $3 age 6-10; 5 & under free.

 Keysville, Virginia

  • Keysville (Charlotte County) Virginia
    Keysville Drive-in:   CLOSED
    located on Hwy 360 (2mi east of Hwy.15)

    Lit-up since 1952, Keysville was open seasonally, until
    this year, and in recent years on weekends only, April
    thru Sept; screening single features (Fri/Sat/Sun). Audio
    for movies' soundtrack being provided via FM radio, and
    Admission being $8 per car - covering all the passengers.
    The Drive-in has been sold to new owners, who opened
    the Dr'in briefly at the beginning of season 2001, but
    have since closed the Drive-in "for renovations .."
    and we do not anticiptate a re-opening in 2002.

 Lexington, Virginia

  • Lexington (Rockbridge County) Virginia
    Hull's Drive-in:  540-463-2621
    located on Route 11, four miles north of town
    (use exit 55 from I-64; use exit 195 from I-81)

    The HULL story in a nutshell: after the death of it's
    owner, Sebert Hull - after the Drive-in's 48th season,
    it's continued existence was questionable. Meanwhile,
    any & all doubts were put to rest by the singular efforts of
    community members and preservationists - organizing as
    The Hulls Angels to save the Drive-in. Having succeeded
    in keeping the old screen lit, it now stands as a dramatic
    inspiration to other communities and is America's first
    "resurrected" not-for-profit community-owned Drive-in.
    They screen double features on wknds only, April-Oct.
    Admission:   $4 per person (free Adm under age 12).

    * BTW: the wonderful response from the community
    in the resurrection of Sebert's picture show is very
    reminiscent of an incident that occured in Texas.

  • Marion (Smyth County) Virginia
    Park Place Drive-in Theatre:  276-781-2222
    located at 301 Park Boulevard

    Although not technically the 'resurrection' of a Drive-in
    which had previously gone dark, this was the location of
    the Park Drive-in, which had faded to black almost three
    decades ago, and is now the site of a brand new Drive-in
    and   a Restaurant which had opened here in May of 2000.
    The outdoor picture show is a solo screen with a capacity
    for up to 240 cars, open seasonally, May thru October; and
    their "Big Screen Eatery" on premises is open year-round
    (7 days 10am-10pm). It is also one of a handful of Drive-ins
    where you will also find a mini-Golf course, which had been
    quite typical among American Drive-ins during their heyday.
    Admission:  $4.50 (for ages 12&up); $2 (children, age 5-11).
    Tuesday nites there is a bargain admission: $7 per carload.

    ITEM:   Far too frequently it has been our regretful task to
    have to report the destruction of another Drive-in,  for the
    sake of yet another WAL• MART ..   whereas construction
    of the new Park Place Drive-in, which has risen-up almost
    in the shadow of an adjacent WAL• MART,  is something of
    a first, poetically justifiable trivia, and a rather good  omen.

  • Norton (Wise County) Virginia
    Central Drive-in:  276-679-3761
    located on Route 23 south

    Pleasantly situated within the boundaries of the
    Jefferson National Forest, this rural solo screen
    has been lit since the 50's heyday of the Drive-in.
    They're open seasonally, April - October, screening
    double features. Audio provided by AM and FM radio.
    Admission: $6.00 per person (kids free under age 11).

  • Richmond (Richmond County) Virginia
    Plaza Drive-in:   DARK
    located on Route 360 (Hull Street Road)

 Rural Retreat, Virginia

  • Rural Retreat (White County) Virginia
    Hiland Drive-in:  276-686-5661
    located on Route 11 (½mile I-81 exit 60)

    Development of the property and construction of the
    Hiland was begun in 1950, with the Drive-in opening
    officially in 1952, and the old screen has remained lit
    every season since. The original screen was 50' wide
    but has been widened over the years to the point that
    it is now the largest outdoor movie screen in Virginia.
    Their season runs from May 1st thru mid-September;
    re-opening each year for Thanksgiving holiday wknd;
    screening single features. Audio: traditional speakers.
    Admission: $4 adults; $2 children 4-12; under age 4 free.

 Stephens City, Virginia

  • Stephens City (Frederick County) Virginia
    Family Drive-in:  540-665-6982
    located on Route 11, one mile south of town
    (convenient to Stephens City exit off I-81)

    It's more than just a name at this old fashioned family-oriented
    traditional drive-in which still maintains a playground up front
    for the wee folk. Open since 1957, The Family is Virginia's only
    'twin' Drive-in; it's two screens are lit-up April thru September:
    Wknds only during spring and fall; 7 nites MemDay - LaborDay.
    Admission: $6 per person; $2 for children aged 12 and under.

    ITEM:   The Family Drive-in is the nearest operating Drive-in movie
    theatre for the nation's Capitol district & Washington D.C. vicinity.

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 the Drive-ins of Virginia!

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that we seem to have missed, or
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