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-   -   Where's All the Local Drive-In Theaters? (http://www.huntsvillecarscene.com/showthread.php?t=4221)

Samir June 30th 09:58 AM

Where's All the Local Drive-In Theaters?
 
The only two I know of are is one in Athens and one in Boaz at Sand Mountain.

Are there any more around the area? :confused:

Stephen Freeman June 30th 10:10 AM

Cinemagic Theatre. 1702 South Jefferson St. Athens, AL 35611 256-233-0402.

I go twice a month. I don't really care what is showing. I just go. Cool place. Come a few minutes before 8 if you want a premium spot. Shows usually start around 8:30 of sundown.

NiTeZ June 30th 10:37 AM

Man I haven't been to a drive-in theater since I was like 7. I didn't even know they still had them lol.

Samir June 30th 12:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Stephen Freeman (Post 46980)
Cinemagic Theatre. 1702 South Jefferson St. Athens, AL 35611 256-233-0402.

I go twice a month. I don't really care what is showing. I just go. Cool place. Come a few minutes before 8 if you want a premium spot. Shows usually start around 8:30 of sundown.

Let me know the next time you're going in the s2k top-down. I'd love to join you. :)

Samir June 30th 12:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NiTeZ (Post 46986)
Man I haven't been to a drive-in theater since I was like 7. I didn't even know they still had them lol.

That's why I started this thread. :) I knew about the one in Athens, but then today found out about the one in Boaz.

The history of the drive-ins in this area is pretty strong:
http://hsvmovies.com/generated_subpa...untsville.html

One of the only local drive-ins to have any pictures is the Whitesburg Drive-in, whose screen and tower were burned down June 10, 1980.
http://www.hdwt.net/images/drivein.JPG

coupemama June 30th 12:52 PM

Here are some web sites, although I do not know when they were last updated:

http://www.driveinmovie.com/AL.htm

http://www.al.com/movies/index.ssf?driveins.html

http://www.driveintheatersusa.com/alabamadrivein.htm

http://www.drive-ins.com/theaters/al/status_op=open

Cruisin into a drive-in with your classic rides is a blast. Especially when there are several of you together, like when an entire club cruisins in. The ones that do not attend drive-in movies are missing out! They are so much better than the indoor ones.

NiTeZ June 30th 01:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Samir (Post 47000)
That's why I started this thread. :) I knew about the one in Athens, but then today found out about the one in Boaz.

The history of the drive-ins in this area is pretty strong:
http://hsvmovies.com/generated_subpa...untsville.html

One of the only local drive-ins to have any pictures is the Whitesburg Drive-in, whose screen and tower were burned down June 10, 1980.
http://www.hdwt.net/images/drivein.JPG

wow, I was born in January that year. That blows..lol

NiTeZ June 30th 01:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by coupemama (Post 47001)
Cruisin into a drive-in with your classic rides is a blast. Especially when there are several of you together, like when an entire club cruisins in. The ones that do not attend drive-in movies are missing out! They are so much better than the indoor ones.

Yeah cause you can sit in the comfort of your own vehicle and not have to worry about someone sitting next to you and fighting for an arm rest. I say we need to do a huge cruise one day and go to one :).

Samir June 30th 02:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by coupemama (Post 47001)

Great links! I had no idea we had so many more, including many built ground-up this decade, and some that never closed. :) Here's what I've been able to pull out from the links:

Athens - www.cinemagictheatre.net Pics
Anniston - www.starliteanniston.com Pics (built in 2002)
Boaz - www.sandmountaindrivein.com Pics
Guin - www.thebluemoondrivein.com Pics - Looks like it may be closed :(
Henagar - www.henagardrivein.com Pics (built in 2002)
Russellville - (256) 332-3619 Pics (open since 1949!)
Centre - www.411drivein.com Pics
Estill Springs, TN - www.montanadrivein.com Pics (built in 2004)
Lewisburg, TN - www.hiway50drivein.net Pics (open since 1946!)
Centerville, TN - www.pinkcadillacdrivein.com Pics

And while I got thinking about the old drive-ins, I thought of the drive-in for our times--no projector, but a GIANT led screen that would be crisp as a television in the night. A grass field sloping slightly towards the screen so everyone can see, with parking stops to keep cars from rolling into each other in case a parking brake fails or someone loses traction. Car hops with pdas to submit the orders to the kitchen and bring your food right to you. A stage in front of the screen that allows the same facility to be used for concerts where everyone comes in their car and the screen behind can be used like it is in modern concerts. Hmmm...I wonder how much that screen would cost...

dragginbody87 June 30th 03:38 PM

Used to be a really popular one in Piedmont. I don't think it's there anymore.

Samir June 30th 03:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dragginbody87 (Post 47034)
Used to be a really popular one in Piedmont. I don't think it's there anymore.

Yep. It's closed. :( It opened in 1952 too. Here's a link to some pictures showing the deterioration:
http://www.drive-ins.com/gallery/altpied

NiTeZ June 30th 03:45 PM

Well I can tell you this much, my grandma has 47 acres of land in Elkmont. I'm sure we could do something with that if someone can produce a screen lol.

dragginbody87 June 30th 03:54 PM

47 acres means Elkmontaroo Elkmontstock Elkmontpalooza 2012

NiTeZ June 30th 04:00 PM

HAHAHAHA! Don't give me no ideas!

Samir July 1st 12:17 AM

So I sent out some emails to Italy, Europe, Singapore, and China to find out how much a large LED screen would cost. The Italian company got back with me first, and it's not cheap, varying from around $800k to $1.4M depending on the size and quality.

Now, my brother was telling me that professional quality projectors cost around $250k in regular theaters, but for a high-quality outdoor presentation, you probably need to use at least two of these, so you're already up to $500k. And then there's the screen. I've purchased a threater quality screen for my parent's home theater and 6' was around $1200. Extrapolate that to a 50' screen and that's $12k, or 100' is $24k.

So a good quality drive-in will have $500k + $12-24k invested in their projection/screen system. An LED system will run approximately double, but will probably have a much, much better picture. Do you think that bring in more people than the other system to justify the cost?

NiTeZ July 1st 12:32 AM

Well here is the problem I see with this:
1. Waterproofing the screen and how much for repair if it gets damaged during server storms. With the projection screens it's a lot cheaper and doesn't take as much to maintain as the LED.
2. Is that price with shipping?
3. After figuring in overall running cost and take into account for any maintance work needed, I honestly don't think it's actually worth it.
4. I don't see it bringing in enough people thanks to places like Netflix and people being able to torrent movies they want. Why leave the comfort of your home if you can watch the same thing. I know of people that have brand new movies in DVD quality after being in theaters 2 days. No one appreciates stuff like that any more. People have become more lazy and have no reason to leave the house except to work to pay their bills. Ok that's my rant lol.

coupemama July 1st 07:49 AM

With direct deposit and automatic payments, as well as paying your bills on line now, and many working from their homes now days, that leaves almost no reason to leave your house. Ouch! That is bad.

I personally miss the days when a group of friends that love their rides and enjoy socializing with each other live in person can meet up and go to the drive-ins together. We not necessarily went to the drive-ins just for the movies, but to get out on a nice evening and have a good time together.

When you only have to pay per car (not per person) - Remembering those big, long station wagons. They would fix 12 to 20 friends! And the ones with large trunks would put a few friends there and bring them into the drive-ins!

Then after the movie, while the drive-in restaurant was cleaning up, would continued to hang out together until the drive-in pushed us out because they were closing the gates and locking up.

At that point we would head on over to a 24-hour drive-in restaurant for shakes.

Now days there is the emptiness and problem of where to go with your rides & friends just to hang out. Most businesses will allow it for a time as long as you are purchasing food or items from them. Evening cruise-ins are one way, but a drive-in movie or drive-in restaurants are still a fun way to hang out and relax after a week at work. And we do not visit our local drive-in theatres enough. I sometimes completely forget that we still have a few.

Samir - do organize an event at the drive-in theatre in Athens before the end of this season. I know or believe that they had downsized. If so, how many rides will this theatre hold now? The last time that Just Kruzin had organized a cruise to this theatre, we did have 20 to 25 rides that night, but with the size of the theatre at that time, could have had about 100. Marsha

Samir July 1st 11:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NiTeZ (Post 47082)
Well here is the problem I see with this:
1. Waterproofing the screen and how much for repair if it gets damaged during server storms. With the projection screens it's a lot cheaper and doesn't take as much to maintain as the LED.

The ones I've looked into are completely sealed. They can even operated completely underwater for months!
Quote:

Originally Posted by NiTeZ (Post 47082)
2. Is that price with shipping?

I think shipping was extra, but that's only about $2k at the max.
Quote:

Originally Posted by NiTeZ (Post 47082)
3. After figuring in overall running cost and take into account for any maintance work needed, I honestly don't think it's actually worth it.

Maintenance will probably be an issue down the road, but they come with either a 1yr or 3yr warranty (depending on the model), and a panel is pretty easy to swap out. Any lighting company should be able to do it. Besides, Lamar runs into these same situations for their LED billboards.
Quote:

Originally Posted by NiTeZ (Post 47082)
4. I don't see it bringing in enough people thanks to places like Netflix and people being able to torrent movies they want. Why leave the comfort of your home if you can watch the same thing. I know of people that have brand new movies in DVD quality after being in theaters 2 days. No one appreciates stuff like that any more. People have become more lazy and have no reason to leave the house except to work to pay their bills. Ok that's my rant lol.

I think the draw of these theaters is that they are cheap! Many of them are going to a carload admission format and are showing two movies. That's really cheap compared to the $10+ ticket prices that are out there these days. And I just thought of something--3D is still possible with a good screen. So a 3D outdoor experience will be pretty unique.

Just some ideas. I don't have the $1.5-2M needed to roll on something like this, but I find it neat to run the numbers. :D

Samir July 1st 11:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by coupemama (Post 47087)
With direct deposit and automatic payments, as well as paying your bills on line now, and many working from their homes now days, that leaves almost no reason to leave your house. Ouch! That is bad.

I personally miss the days when a group of friends that love their rides and enjoy socializing with each other live in person can meet up and go to the drive-ins together. We not necessarily went to the drive-ins just for the movies, but to get out on a nice evening and have a good time together.

When you only have to pay per car (not per person) - Remembering those big, long station wagons. They would fix 12 to 20 friends! And the ones with large trunks would put a few friends there and bring them into the drive-ins!

Then after the movie, while the drive-in restaurant was cleaning up, would continued to hang out together until the drive-in pushed us out because they were closing the gates and locking up.

At that point we would head on over to a 24-hour drive-in restaurant for shakes.

Now days there is the emptiness and problem of where to go with your rides & friends just to hang out. Most businesses will allow it for a time as long as you are purchasing food or items from them. Evening cruise-ins are one way, but a drive-in movie or drive-in restaurants are still a fun way to hang out and relax after a week at work. And we do not visit our local drive-in theatres enough. I sometimes completely forget that we still have a few.

Samir - do organize an event at the drive-in theatre in Athens before the end of this season. I know or believe that they had downsized. If so, how many rides will this theatre hold now? The last time that Just Kruzin had organized a cruise to this theatre, we did have 20 to 25 rides that night, but with the size of the theatre at that time, could have had about 100. Marsha

Some really good perspective on an era gone by. Sounds like it was a lot of fun and not much trouble either. It's a bit the same today, but with business parking lots and some other informatl activities dominating the evenings.

We'll have to work together on getting one organized for this fall. I'm pretty swamped trying to keep up with everything, and am more behind than I've ever wanted to be. And since my cars still have issues, that's also something I'm having to deal with. :( Too much to do and not enough time. :(

coupemama July 1st 12:45 PM

Hey, maybe we could get Athens to move their 1st Saturday evening cruise-ins to the drive-in. !!! Just a thought.


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