The Travel Channel has recently named Beaufort’s Highway 21 Drive-In one of the top drive in theaters in the country. Listing several who are seeing a resurgence, the popular Travel Channel went through a brief list but we didn’t have to wait long to get to our local gem…because it came in at #2.
The popular network website says the Highway 21 Drive-In has the feel good vibe of another era. “Located just outside the popular resort community of Beaufort, South Carolina, the Highway 21 Drive-in has the feel-good vibe of another era and offers up double features on two screens showcasing the most current Hollywood hits. The snack bar is totally old school with such specialties as corn dogs, burgers, funnel cakes and root beer floats. Glo bracelets and necklaces and collectible flash pops are also available for the kids.”
We know that our local drive-in helps make Beaufort the special place that it is. Having one in our own backyard is something we should be happy about as there aren’t too many left in business these days.
By the late 1950s outdoor movie venues were at their peak with more than 4,000 screens in existence across the U.S. The majority of drive-in theaters were privately owned mom-and-pop businesses but their popularity began to decline rapidly in the Seventies as our movie habits changed along with new technologies like videotape and cable and today less than 400 remain.
The American drive-in is experiencing a bit of a resurgence. For one thing, most modern drive-ins feature the latest Hollywood releases, offer more varied concession options and amenities for families, and often utilize their space in off hours for flea markets, swap meets and other public events. Some drive-in theater owners have even expanded their market by creating a franchise such as the Blue Starlite chain with locations in Austin, Miami and Vail, Colorado that often feature retrospective programming such as “Casablanca”, “The Big Lebowski” and slasher classics like “The Prowler.”
Here are a few of the top U.S. drive-ins that are thriving and enjoying a resurgence of popularity, according to the Travel Channel’s report.
Starlight Six Drive-In, Atlanta GA
Highway 21 Drive-In, Beaufort SC
Wellfleet Drive-In, Cape Cod MA
Silver Moon Drive-In, Lakeland FL
66 Drive-In, Carthage, MO
Becky’s Drive-In, Walnutport PA
Stars & Stripes Drive-IN, Lubbock TX
Harvest Moon Drive-In, Gibson City IL
99W Drive-In, Newberg OR
Boulevard Drive-In, Kansas City MO