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Shore Drive-In
4640 Shore Drive (US 60 at US 13, just south of the Bay Bridge), Virginia Beach, Va.
years of operation: 1956-83
currently: North Beach condo/shopping complex

Opened by the locally-based Visulite Theatres chain, it earned recognition in several national trade publications for its large, elaborate kids' playground. By the early '80s, though, under operators Price Enterprises, its onscreen fare was often R-rated and raunchy (and sometimes X-rated, which brought them their share of run-ins with the law). This changed after, reportedly, company head Ernie Price became a born-again Christian in 1982. The following year, after closing his other drive-ins (the South, Sand & Surf, and Peninsula Twin), he attempted to re-establish the Shore as a family entertainment center in conjunction with Rock Church of Virginia Beach. The first feature at the "Cross Roads Drive-In" was The Cross and the Switchblade; subsequent features were G and PG only. Apparently, not enough families flocked to see the new fare, and the experiment ended after that season, shuttering the last drive-in theatre in South Hampton Roads, which lived out the rest of its days as a flea market.
"My dad Charles Everett worked for Ernie Price, who operated the majority of the DI's and a few one-screen indoor theaters in South Hampton Roads during the 1970s. My dad was the go-to guy who would simply say 'I'll do it !' At Shore Drive-In my dad learned the hard way about Yellow Jackets (Wasps) making homes in the pole speakers. He found one such speaker set and they went ballistic on him. Thankfully my grandmother knew how to cure his stings. She made up a large batch of dipping snuff paste and plastered him wherever he got stung. The nicotine pulled the poison and pain right out. After awhile I think my dad caught a major nicotine buzz through his blood stream. It was after this my dad went to work at Sand and Surf for a brief bit till he packed the family off to Charlottesville, Va. I remember when we came home in 1983 to Virginia Beach my mom drove by all the old places and they all said the same thing 'Sorry We're Closed !' Today when I ride by where both Shore Drive-In and Sand & Surf was formerly located and see the Business Parks and Residential Communities, I get a sad sigh on my breath longing for those long nights of my youth again one more time. If only the City of Virginia Beach would reconsider opening these places." -- Adrian Everett

Click here for an interactive 1963 aerial photo of the drive-in (zoom in or out, or compare to older or newer photos of the same site).
here to see the 1986 USGS map depicting the drive-in and surrounding area.

Above photos from the 1955-56 Theatre Catalog.

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