WEST VIRGINIA

 West Virginia Drive-ins

West Virginia got a late start as a Drive-in state.
More than a dozen other U.S. states had been hosting
at least 1 Drive-in by the time that West Virginia had
it's first Ozoner .. but then quickly made-up for lost time
during the post-war years; 20 having opened-up by 1949.

By the mid-50's West Virginia "peaked" with as many as
76 Drive-in movie theatres operating within the state.
Since the heyday of the Drive-in, their numbers here
have declined by 87%, and presently there are only
ten of them operating within the Mountain State.
These are the most-recent closings and remaining
Drive-ins that you can still enjoy and support:





     PIPESTEM DRIVE-IN 
 Speedway (Athens), WV

  • Athens (Mercer County) West Virginia
    Pipestem Drive-in:   304-384-7382
    located on Route 20, 4 miles north of town
    (in a tiny hamlet known locally as Speedway,
    and adjacent to Pipestem State Park); 20 miles
    north of Bluefield; 10 mi from exit 14 off I-77.

    The youngest of West Virginia's remaining Drive-ins
    was first lit-up in 1972 and remains lit weekends only
    (May thru October). Double features are screened nitely
    for up to 280 cars, with sound being provided exclusively
    by traditional pole speakers. Admission: Friday/Saturday -
    $4 adults; $1 for ages 4-10; and free under 4 years of age.
    Sunday nites: all pasengers for 1 price .. $8 per carload.
    Flea Market swap meet held here Sundays (6am-1pm).




  • Beckley (Raleigh County) West Virginia
    see: Skelton, WV



  • Chester (Hancock County) West Virginia
    Hilltop Drive-in:   304-387-1611
    located south of Chester at the Junction of
    State Route 8 & County Route 208
    (10 minutes from the Ohio state line and
    about 30 minutes SW of Pittsburgh, PA)

    The Hilltop opened in 1950 and went dark while operated
    by its second owner in 1984. It remained dark for 5 years
    and was then purchased by its former projectionist in '89
    who with his wife & daughter remain very committed to
    keeping the old screen lit. They screen double features
    each nite, 7 nites a week in peak season (Memorial Day
    to Labor Day); and weekends only during spring and fall.
    Audio for the movies' soundtrack is provided by local FM
    (87.9) radio. Admission: $5 per person for ages 12 & up;
    $2 for ages 7-11; free admission for ages 6 and under.
    Flea Market swap meet held here Sundays (8am-3pm).




  • Franklin (Pendleton County) West Virginia
    Warner's Drive-in:  304-358-7610
    located on Route 220 North

    Warner's has been lit-up since 1953 and is presently open
    seasonally, Memorial Day thru Labor Day on weekends only
    (Friday & Saturday); screening a low-priced single feature.
    They have a capacity for up to 200 cars and provide audio
    for the movie's soundtrack exclusively via FM (91.3) radio.
    Admission: $3.50 per person (12 & up); free if under age 12.




  • Glen Dale (Marshall County) West Virginia
    Glen Dale Drive-in:   304-845-2064
    located on Route 2

    One of West Virginia's oldest outdoor cinemas, the
    Glen Dale opened at the onset of America's Drive-in
    boom, back in 1948. They screen double features
    seasonally, April thru September, and still have
    traditional pole speakers in addition to AM & FM
    radio sound. Flea Market here Sundays from 6am.




     GRAFTON DRIVE-IN 
 Grafton, WV

  • Grafton (Taylor County) West Virginia
    Grafton Drive-in:   304-265-1096
    located on Route 119 (north of Route 50)

    The Grafton opened in 1949 with a capacity for
    250 cars and is one of the three West Virginia
    Drive-ins that are still using traditional Drive-in
    speakers exclusively to provide the audio for
    the movies' soundtrack. They are screening
    double features, seasonally, April - October.




  • Meadow Bridge (Fayette County) West Virginia
    Meadow Bridge Drive-in:  304-484-7878
    located on Route 20

    West Virginia's smallest Drive-in was built in 1953 ..
    with a capacity for only 180 cars (and yet it features
    the lowest admission price of any cinema in the state).
    The Meadow Bridge is open seasonally, May thru Sept.,
    on weekends only, screening double features on 1 ticket.
    Audio for the movies' soundtrack is provided via FM radio
    as well as traditional speakers. Admission: $2 per person.




  • Moorefield (Hardy County) West Virginia
    Moorefield Drive-in:  GONE
    formerly located on Fisher Keller Road ..

    Now located out along the Lost Highway ..
    (it was torn-down in '96 to widen the road).




  • Mount Zion (Calhoun County) West Virginia
    Mount Zion Drive-in:   304-354-9405
    loacted on State Route 16

    West Virginia's oldest remaining Drive-in was first
    lit-up back in 1945 and the screen is being kept lit
    (seasonally) presently by the 3rd generation of the
    family that's owned it since 1979. They're screening
    double features on weekends only, June - September.
    Audio for the movies' soundtrack is provided with both
    traditional Dr'in speakers and via local FM (91.5) radio
    broadcast. The 85' w. screen here is huge - considering
    their capacity for 200 cars. Meanwhile, the Mt. Zion's
    snackbar is a destination in itself, quite popular as a
    local drive-up restaurant (and is equipped with a pair
    of billiard tables). Admission: $4 (free under 10 years).




  • Parkersburg (Wood County) West Virginia
    Jungle Drive-in:   304-464-4063
    located on Route 2, six miles north of town
    (1hr north of Charleston; 3 miles off I-77)

    This classic Ozoner has hardly changed at all since it
    first opened in 1952, and after almost half a century,
    it is still owned and operated by the same family that
    built it. The sense of retro continuity is amplified by
    the fact that audio is still provided here exclusively
    with nostalgic pole speakers - for up to 300 cars, and
    the lingering presence of the traditional playground.
    The Jungle is lit-up seasonally, April thru October, with
    a double feature; 7 nites during peak season and while
    school is out; open on weekends only in spring & fall.
    Another tradition here which has remained a constant
    down through the years: the double Jungle Boy burgers
    at their snackbar! Admission: $6 per person; under 12 free.




  • Pineville (Wyoming County) West Virginia
    Pineville Drive-in:  304-732-7492
    located on Route 10 North

    The Pineville has a capacity for up to 260 cars and screens
    double features, seasonally, between Memorial Day and
    Labor Day, in addition to hosting a Flea Market (Thurs).




     SUNSET DRIVE-IN THEATRE 
 and ELLIS RESTAURANT 
 Shinnston, WV

  • Shinnston (Harrison County) West Virginia
    Sunset Drive-in:  304-592-0405
    located on Route 19, 3mi outside of town
    (between Clarksburg and Shinnston)

    The sole survivor of Harrison County's 5 Drive-ins
    is also West Virginia's 2nd-oldest (built in 1947) ..
    The property hosts a roadside cafe which is open
    throughout the year - The Ellis Restaurant, and also
    the seasonal Sunset Drive-in theatre with its 70' wide
    screen and a capacity for up to 600 cars (April-Sept);
    double features each nite. Audio: traditional speakers
    as well as AM (530) radio. Admission: $5 per person 13+
    $1 for children (ages 2-12). Restaurant: (closed Mondays)
    open Tues-Thurs 7:30am-9pm; Fri/Sat 7:45am-10pm; Sun 7-7.
    Flea Market held here Saturdays & Sundays 6am-1pm thru Oct.
    Situated 4 miles from exit 121 - off I-79 ("Meadowbrook" exit).




  • Skelton (Raleigh County) West Virginia
    Moonlite Drive-in:  GONE

    Formerly located on the 19-21 Bypass (outer Beckley)
    progress! .. it is now the site of a roadside junkyard.




  • St. Albans (Kanawha County) West Virginia
    Valley Drive-in:  GONE

    Formerly located at junction of Routes 35 & 60
    (the site is now being used as a lumber yard).







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