Five Drive-In Theaters Near Roanoke, Virginia

 Abstract: In the 1950s, the drive-in theater was as American as apple pie. However, over the next few decades, most of the drive-ins closed their doors. There are still a handful of drive-in theaters, located near Roanoke, Va. Here is a guide to five of them.

Bass Hill Drive-In Cinema (1)
Drive-in theaters got their start in the 1930s. The concept grew in popularity over the next couple of decades. By the 1950s, thousands of drive-in theaters dotted America's landscape. People flocked to these theaters to watch both B-movies and, less often, new releases. Sadly, the drive-in craze did not last long. The industry went into decline after the mid-1960s, and less than 500 drive-ins remain in operation today.
Given the dearth of drive-in theaters in existence nationally, people who live near Roanoke, Virginia, are in luck. They can choose from several drive-in theaters that are within a two hour drive of Roanoke.

Here is a guide to five of these drive-in theaters.

Hull's Drive-In Theater

Location: 2367 North Lee Highway; Lexington, Va 24450
Movie Times: Call for more information
Prices: Adults are $7, children 5-11 are $3, and kids under 5 are admitted for free
Phone: (540) 463-2621

Hull's Drive-In Theater has a rich history. It opened its doors in 1950 and remained in continuous operation until 1999. The theater closed down for a couple of years but reopened as a non-profit organization in 2001. Hull's is "the nation's first community-owned, non-profit classic drive-in theater."
Hull's Drive-In offers visitors a chance to catch a double feature at a reasonable price. The theater also sells food during these shows. In addition to movie nights, Hull's Drive-In sponsors several festivals or other events at its location during the year.

Mayberry Diner and Theater

Location: 1696 Whitehouse Road; Moneta, Va 24121
Movie Times: Call for more information
Diner Hours: Mon.-Thur. from 7:30 a.m.-9:00 p.m., Fri.-Sat. from 7:30 a.m.-10:00 p.m., and Sun. from 7:30 a.m.-9:00 p.m.
Prices (for movies): Adults are $8, children 4-11 are $4.00, and kids under 4 are free
Phone: (520) 296-1480

Mayberry Diner and Theater offers customers the chance to have a sit down meal at a diner and then experience the thrill of watching a movie at a drive-in. At the same time, visitors can choose to forego the diner experience and simply head to the drive-in, which has a separate concessions stand. The theater offers customers the chance to watch single and double features (depending on the day) for a reasonable price. The drive-in also hosts a number of concerts throughout the summer.

Moonlight Drive-In Theater

Location: 17555 Lee Highway; Abingdon, Va 24210
Movie Times: Fri.-Sun. - Call for times
Prices: Adults are $7, children 5-11 are $2, and kids under 5 are admitted for free
Phone: (276) 628-7881

Moonlight Drive-In Theater was built in 1949 and can hold over 450 cars. The drive-in theater started offering double features in 2002. Moonlight Drive-In is listed on both the state and national registries of historic places. As an added attraction, Abingdon, Va is also home to the famous Barter Theater, as well as a number of other attractions.

Park Place Drive-In

Location: 301 Park Boulevard; Marion, Va 24354
Movie Times: Call for more information
Prices: Adults are $6, children 5-11 are $2, and kids under 5 are free.
Phone: (276) 781-2222
Visitors to Park Place can partake in a number of fun activities. The complex contains, among other things, a drive-in theater, an 18-hole mini-golf course, and an ice cream shop. This drive-in theater is actually (sort of) new. The original theater, built in 1954, closed in the 1980s. The current owners of Park Place "rebuilt" it in 2000.

Starlite Drive-In Theater

Location: 275 Starlite Drive; Christiansburg, Va 24073
Movie Times: Every Fri., Sat., and Sun., during the summer (beginning in May). Gates open at 7:00 p.m. Call for more information.
Prices: Adults are $6 and children under 12 are $4
Phone: (540) 382-2202

The Starlite Drive-In Theater has been in business for more than 60 years. It shows movies on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, during the warmer months of the year (beginning in May). Anyone planning on making a trip to see a movie at Starlite should bring cash; the drive-in does not accept credit cards or checks. The theater also has a concessions stand that sells a variety of food items, including hot dogs and barbecue sandwiches, at extremely reasonable prices.


1. Photographer: J. Bar
    Date: November 4, 2007
    Title: Bass Hill Drive-In Cinema
     Location/Permission: Wikimedia Commons - GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2
     (click on the title/link to see the photo/credits/permissions)

-- Anthony Hopper

#drivein #entertainment #movies #theaters #attractions #VA #Virginia #Roanoke #mustsee

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