Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Drive-in picture show

Posted July 28, 2010

How many of you have been to a drive-in movie theatre? What were your favorite experiences? Have you been to one lately? If so, how have things changed over the years?

The reason why I ask these questions is that we are featuring the half dozen drive-in “picture shows,” as WRAL Meteorologist Mike Moss describes them, still in existence across NC in the Hometown Hello segment on WRAL News in the mornings on Fox 50. Perhaps you would like to revisit the drive-in movie experience. If so here are your options:

-Raleigh Road Drive-IN
-Operating for 61 years - oldest in NC
-dog friendly
-formerly the Moon-Glo


-Badin Road Drive-In
-started in 1948 - reopened in '94
-admission: $5
-WiFi access

-Bill’s Belmont Drive-In
-50 year institution
-FM radio for sound
-large popcorn: $5.50

-Sunset Drive-In
-chili cheese fries are famous
-April – October season
-300 car capacity

-Eden Drive-IN
-admission $5
-two movies are admission
-run by Robertson family


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  • digitaldarth Aug 3, 2010

    Word is that there is a new Drive-in coming to either Franklin or Wake County. A combo Indoor / outdoor. The outdoor screens will allow daytime movie viewing outdoors!

  • pattip574 Jul 30, 2010

    I think they should make a comeback! Movie theaters have become too expensive and drive-ins are a blast! Sure, one can sit home and wait for the DVD, but if you have a chance to see 2 movies for 5 or 6 bucks and enjoy a night out, why not? I enjoyed taking my kids to the drive in where they grew up, but since moving to Wayne County, the grandkids are missing out. It's sad..

  • Glass Half Full Jul 29, 2010

    hwyche - According to their website, the Bright Leaf is out of business.

  • hwyche Jul 29, 2010

    Only six left? Is the Bright Leaf in Mt. Airy closed? Tennispro, I'm gonna tell youknowwho that you did not obey your mother.

  • jcsmom Jul 29, 2010

    We discovered the Eden Drive-In this summer and LOVE it! We have been twice and are planning on going again this weekend. They show first-run movies at such a great price! Adults are $5, kids 6-11 are $2, and under 6 are free. They generally show double features so you can't beat the price for two movies. Our family of five saw Toy Story 3 and Eclipse for $17. You can bring in your own food or purchase dinner from their grill. You listen through your FM radio in your car or you can sit in the grass and hear it on their speakers. It's an hour drive for us, but so worth it! Extremely family friendly. This weekend, they are doing a triple feature: Cats and Dogs, Despicable Me, and Inception.

  • brendanarron Jul 29, 2010

    I remember going to the one at Tower Drive In. It was located at Tower shopping center in Raleigh. I went to see "Mary Poppins" with my sister and brother-in-law.It rained that night so we got a refund.

  • mesunrise Jul 29, 2010

    Remember going to the drive in movie in Cary growing up. I don't imagine many people that live in this town now can imagine Cary having a drive in movie theater. We did! Great place to grow up and really miss the "town" we used to be. Sometimes growth is not always for the best. But many Saturday nights found us at the movies...popcorn and all. We could even stop by "Miss McGees" and take our own treats. Remember Ben Hur with my siblings and mom at the wheel.

  • Celt Jul 28, 2010

    Hmmmmm.....I think this is one blog post I better not comment on! :-)

  • For-Better-Or-Worse Jul 28, 2010

    We love to go to the drive-in in Henderson. The line to the concession is long but 2 movies for 6.00 plus bringing the dog, we can wait.

  • ellenbaber Jul 28, 2010

    I remember watching the first Star Wars movie at a drive-in in Henderson back in 1977 or '78.I was in a sports car that had an open about cool! Watching Star Wars under the stars...priceless!




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Bill Leslie