Fork Union Drive-In

location Winnsville Dr. (VA 612), off US 15 a mile south of Fork Union, Va.
telephone (434) 842-3624
year opened circa 1953
capacity 180 cars
booking policy

double features

sound speakers, FM
admission $8.50; children 6-10, $4
operating season mid-Spring to September, weekends only
website Facebook page

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Multi-week movie schedules can be ordered in advance by sending a SASE to: Fork Union Drive-In, RR 1 Box 82, Fork Union, VA 23055.

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Rate/comment on this drive-in
If you've been to the Fork Union and would like to share your opinions, click here.

Average rating: 4.44 (48 votes)
  "I love the drive-in. We always have such a good time when we go. I am upset that it has not opened up yet for this year. Does anyone know if it will open at all? Or when?"  5  -- Morris
  "Our family has been going to the drive-in for over 20 years, it hasn't changed but that's part of what we love, good memories!! Our family still looks forward to it every year! Yes we have experienced the less than pleasant worker/owner that has been mentioned, if that happens this year I have learned a new line I may use: 'you know sometimes I suck at my job too' :) Even Still We Are Anxiously Awaiting Opening Night!!"  4  -- Tami
  "A classic rural drive-in."  5  -- Lee
  "It's like stepping back in time. Everyone that works there are all very friendly. You get two movies for the price of one. The price of the movie and the snack bar are a very good deal. Love it! We live about 70 miles away, we go every year. We take all our family and friends."  5  -- HARRY MOORE
  "We love, love, love Fork Union Drive-In. Lovely country atmosphere. Parking area is great for viewing from anywhere, and unlike other drive-ins, they have no restrictions on tying down the back hatch of vans because of this. The food is very reasonable, the people who work there are nice, and the location is beautiful. I have been blessed to see shooting stars and beautiful sunsets here. Highly recommend.
  "(We drive all the way from Richmond, farther than another local drive-in, to go to Fork Union.)"  5
 -- StacyD
  "I really enjoy my visits to the Fork Union drive-in... I live close to it and I like to take my kids there b/c it's a little easier there than a real movie theater...we have a blast everytime we go, it's comfortable!!!"  4  -- T.J.
  "We love this drive-in and keep coming back year after year. We love to get there early and bring a football or a frisbee to toss around while we wait for it to get dark. I've never known the staff to be rude (even when we paid for a ticket with a bunch of coins once) and they've seemed to be pretty lax about bringing outside food. We always pack a picnic and have never had any issues, though their in-house food offerings are pretty good too. I hear that the drive-in at Goochland is much worse. No pets, no smoking, no outside food and they do check, no alcoholic beverages. We really prefer the relaxed environment at Fork Union."  5  -- JK
  "First I want to lend my opinion to the 'NEVERAGAIN' family with the lady who did nothing but bad mouth the drive-in because she brought in food. First, you should have never brought in food! She knew better than that, just did not want to spend the money there! And I'm sure that the situation was exaggerated because she felt put out! You break the rules you suffer the results! I have never been to the drive-in but plan to this month. As with any theatre you are NOT allowed to bring food or drinks. And YES kids are messy and tear up stuff. They are noisy etc. Keep them at home so others can enjoy themselves. I AM SO GLAD THAT THE FORK UNION DRIVE-IN is still operating here in Virginia! KEEP up all the good work!!!!!!!!"  5  -- Grateful
  "Fork Union Drive-In has the potential to be a wonderful treat for the whole family. The movies were great, the facilities (sound and viewing areas) were fine, and even the tiny bathroom is no worse than your local gas station. The cost is kind of ridiculous in comparison to GREAT drive-ins like Hull's that are cheaper, have character, and are family-friendly with 50s and 60s music (BEWARE: Fork Union will regale you with Lady Gaga and mildly censored rap music). But, really, my main complaint is the one staff member who was extremely rude to my family, or maybe she was the owner - at least she said she owned the place when she was insulting us for bringing outside food. You see, a couple of years ago, we were on line for an hour when the theater turned us away saying there was no more room, and my daughter wailed the entire way home. Tonight, we packed a picnic, got to the gate a half hour before it opened, and ate our food OUTSIDE the gate. This rude woman came up to us and went on and on about how we had no tact or respect to bring outside food, and stated even the driveway was her property so we were not allowed to eat there. My husband calmly and politely apologized to her, but she babbled on and on about how we probably had not even brought a trash bag, how kids are messy, and it was all I could do not to tell her off, but I didn't want to disappoint my kids again. I cried as we entered the gate and parked, but my anger hit its peak when I realized that there were other families eating their own picnics, and she NEVER said anything to them. NEVER. What can I possibly think except that maybe, just maybe, is it because I'm not white??? That seems to be the only difference between those other nice families and my family. I will NEVER go back to Fork Union Drive-In, and I will NEVER recommend it to anyone else."  2  -- NEVER AGAIN!
  "Yes, yes, of course the bathroom, BUT it is cheaper than another local drive-in, and you just get the great feeling of the country without overcrowding! ALSO, there is no bad seat in the place, unlike another local drive-in where the parking is flatter and you frequently cannot even see the movie. The movies are always new and great, and the atmosphere is friendly and there aren't any guards watching your every move. Can't say enough good things about it."  5  -- Edie
  "A great experience from years gone by! Hope it sticks around for generations to come!"  5  -- Christine
  "I love the Fork Union Drive-In!!! It is a piece of history that has not lost its touch to new age technology and still has its sweet home touch! The snack bar is reasonably priced and tastes oh so good! My only complaint is the bathroom...but we have learned to just go right before the movie ends and to take our own place!!!"  5  -- Chrissi Blackwell
  "Too expensive. Hull's drive-in in Lexington cheaper, cleaner, bigger variety in freshly cooked food and WELL worth the drive."  -- kathy
  "LOVE the drive-in. Who do I need to ask about doing a photography shoot at the drive-in with a classic car. I volunteer my time to help the pinupangels Fundraiser For Our Troops. My email
Pinupangels web site.
Thank you"  5
-- Melissa
  "Agree about the bathrooms -- seriously, UPGRADE. But it was fun."  4 -- Jeanne
  "You guys need better sound quality."  4 -- Madeline Otten
  "I'm with the majority here, everything's great except the bathrooms, also one night of the weekend, preferably Friday or Saturday, they should have a more 'teen friendly' night with two movies that teens on a date would enjoy."  5 -- Michael Able
  "I used to go pretty often. My only issue is that I live in Charlottesville. I plan on taking my boys before the summer is over!!"  4 -- Niki
  "Love watching two movies for price of one. Concessions great but RESTROOMS STINK... THEY NEED TO BE REDONE OR SOME ADDED. THEY ARE TOO SMALL..."  4 -- Conley family
  "Why do people complain all they can. Like Mike who feels the drive-in should have touchless toilets. Do you have touchless toilets in your house? The drive-in is awesome and part of cinema history, be glad we have one. I see children and teens and families there having a great time. Keep up the good times Fork Union and I see u this weekend"  5 -- Louis cville
  "There is no need to complain, it is a great price, 2 for the price of one. The concessions are about the same but for the experience is worth it and u can get up anytime and still see and hear the movie. Love it!"  5 -- Jenna
  "I had never been to a drive-in before, but it was absolutely amazing!! Watching a movie of decent quality (sound and entertainment value) and being under the stars was great! Yes, there is only one bathroom, but other than that I have nothing negative to say!"  5 -- Lindsey
  "Great place. Fun! But, why no web site?!?!?!? It would help customers find directions, movie times and other helpful information like the start times of the the movies, etc. Come on, guys, it is 2010!"  4 -- Kenner
  "Not bad. We've always enjoyed our visits. The only strikes are the bathrooms (seriously, this has nothing to do with people being spoiled- it's 2010, time to upgrade!) and the $8.50 admission cost. Either knock a buck or two off the price or ease up on the food restrictions."  4 -- Bleaux leaux
  "If the owners of the drive-in see this post or anybody who knows how to get ahold of the owners, please call 804-218-2950. Like I said above, I took my girlfriend to the drive-in on our first date and was trying to propose to her there real soon."  -- Matt
  "Does anyone know who the owners are? And if they read these posts? I was trying to get in touch with them. I brought my girlfriend to the drive-in and wanted to propose to her there in January, but I am trying to get ahold of them to see if I can work something out with them. If anyone knows them or how to get in touch with them, it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks"  5 -- Matt
  "I suggested the drive-in to friends at work. I was extremely disappointed to find out one of the staff members were extremely rude to them. They had ordered a coke and asked if they could get a straw. The person at the counter went off yelling 'I'm tired of people asking for stuff, do they think we're made of money' (I've cleaned up their foul language). I loved this place, but the whole bathroom thing and now the attitudes... I will not be recommending this drive-in to anybody else."  2 -- Disappointed
  "This is our 3rd season of going to this drive-in. $8.50 is a great price for 2 movies. The kids have a blast playing in the field in front of the screen. The bathrooms need work but in this day and time if they try to remodel them it would cost a fortune for the new codes. Maybe when the economy picks up it would be possible. I think it was great."  5 -- Winston
  "We took our 8-year-old grandson, who had never even heard of a drive-in theatre. Before we got there he asked 'how are we going to drive the car into the theatre?' He had a blast!"  5 -- Suzan
  "The Fork Union drive-in has been a part of my life for many years. I only wish I lived closer to bring my children there more often. The drive-in is a wonderful family outing that is a great experience for younger children to have a blast from their moms, grandparents and aunts past. I pray that it stays in operation for many years to come!  E.Harris, Danville, Virginia"  5 -- Edna Harris
  "Bathrooms are bad and why can't we bring our own food?? That's just crazy. That was the fun of going to a drive-in that you bought a bunch of goodies to eat."  2 -- Matt
  "Love the Drive-In. Hate the Bathroom (Out-houses)."  4 -- Jean P
  "For 8.50 you should be able to bring in your own food...."  -- S
  "Very clean facility and friendly staff. Yes, the bathrooms were small, and somewhat old, but we never had much of a wait, and our family had a great time!"  5 -- Mike B
  "I love this...I lived down the street from a drive-in growing up and some 20 yrs. ago they turned it into condos! We are lucky to have this little gem and those complaining can stay in C-Ville and go to the walk-in theaters!"  5 -- cheryl morrison
  "I have been to a few drive-in theaters and Fork Union's is pretty great! We have always had a wonderful experience and felt the price was worth it. I completely agree that the bathroom experience was not the greatest, but we learned to adapt by bringing our own TP and sanitizer!"  5 -- Sara
  "You guys have to remember how long this drive-in has been in operation and how SPOILED some people are nowadays with automatic flush toilets, automatic paper towel dispensers, etc. My family has lived in the county FOREVER. My grandparents, my parents, myself, and my children have all enjoyed movies at the drive-in. I agree the bathrooms are small, but maybe over the last 50+ years, people have gotten bigger??? If you want up-to-date facilities and pay the expensive prices, go to Charlottesville."  4 -- Patty
  "It was pretty good. It's cheap - two movies for the price of one. You can't beat that anywhere. The food was great - Pork BBQ Sandwich! The quality of the movie was awesome. I like the AM/FM idea. Can you build more restrooms please. I do plan to go there again. Keep up the good work."  4 -- Monique C
  "Went again on Saturday August 5 with my family, not nearly as many cars on the lot as in June. The old restroom facilities, as well as the somewhat high ticket prices may be having an affect on patronage. Actually, my overall experience this time was much better than in June, because so few people were there that no lines existed at the snack-bar or restrooms."  5 -- Stan Sheridan
  "Work on the restrooms, when you have small children that have to go to the restroom standing in line for 20+ minutes isn't good at all, we were there the first weekend of cars and I realize you were very busy but I've been there before and the restroom lines are terrible, I ended up taking my daughter to the mens room because we had stood in line over 20 minutes and we barely moved, so maybe some porta potties??? or build on because the mens restroom isn't very clean to take a small girl"  3 -- Christy
  "I agree about the bathrooms, but I also say 'Amen' to the comment about just being glad that the drive-in is still in operation!! It's a wonderful family outing!! Thank u!"  5 -- Debbie and family
  "Nice operation, well maintained and managed. Somewhat dated with grass field and spartan restroom facilities. But, I won't complain because I'm just glad it's still operating."  5 -- Stan Sheridan
  "We love this drive-in - a must summer event for families. The only improvement needed is the bathrooms - they need more of them. We love the open grass area in front for the kids, and the classic concession stand."  4 -- Chris, Charlottesville, VA
  "Great location, great concession, but had only 1 mens and womens bathroom for 800 people. Long waits to go and they should have been cleaner. Even so, we have plans to go back again soon."  4 -- Jim
  "This is the best drive-in. Clean, friendly and a bargain, Bill Smith, when you get 2 great movies for the price of one. Been to the theatre lately? Always a good kids movie and something for the bigger kids as well.
"  5 -- Joan Allmond, New Canton
  "Thank you so much -- Charlie & family"  5 -- Charlie Schwartz
  "$8.50? Ridiculous!!"  -- Bill Smith
  "Place was very clean and had very friendly staff. There could be a few more bathrooms though one of each isn't enough for all those families!"  5 -- The Wrights, Louisa VA
  "We have been to this drive-in numerous times in the past few is overall very good, the only thing holding it from outstanding is the TINY and OLD restrooms and it can only take one person at a time...time to upgrade."  4 -- Charles Dobbins

Click here to see the USGS map depicting the drive-in and surrounding area.
here to see a 1994 aerial photo of the drive-in.

Photos from Tim Thompson's Drive-In Theater. Used by permission.