US 460/business west of Blackstone, Va.
capacity: 253 cars
years of operation: 1950-1986
currently: closed; screen gone but most other significant structures still standing
Founded by Zack T. Perdue, who operated it for almost 36 years before it came to its abrupt end on the night of August 6, 1986, when a powerful thunderstorm hit the area, and a strong wind, likely a tornado, demolished the 80-by-50-foot screen and its aluminum-and-wood lean-to tower/storage room. Since the drive-in had just gone to a weekends-only policy that year, no one was there that Wednesday night (thankfully avoiding a Twister-come-to-life scene), and the storm spared the other major structures, but the cost of replacing the screen alone dissuaded Perdue from reopening. In its early days, Hank Williams was among the music stars who performed live at the Grove. The last feature to grace its screen was Jo Jo Dancer, Your Life Is Calling the previous weekend.
Click here to see the 1991 USGS map depicting the drive-in and
Click here to see a 1996 aerial photo of the drive-in's remains.
Structure was apparently the readerboard.
Projection building and restrooms.
"The snack bar [above two photos] was a railroad caboose that [Perdue] put in the fence beside the screen (on the sat photo, it's the structure to the left of the screen - screen is straight in front of the booth). He put it there in '65 (I think) - it replaced the smaller snack bar in the projection booth/snack bar/restrooms combo building. He ran it for lunch through the movies... He added a side room to the caboose that wasn't there when I last saw it. I remember the caboose as being red with awnings on both sides - they served through the windows on the sides. And, of course, there was a fence around the drive in that butted into the caboose. Looks a lot different now." -- Ray Chamberlain
Photos taken June 2007.
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