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athens is between knoxville and chattanooga
my first real job ever was at the A&P grocery store across cleveland from the crosstown in 1969.right next door to the crosstown was a drug store that had a great lunch counter with wonderful greasy cheeseburgers!…so so long ago and yet just yesterday.
mr wingo….the 51 drive in was actually north of town in millington. i had a really bad wreck pulling out of there when i was a teenager.
yes chuck that sounds about right…seems like by the second time i visited them there it was closed.
this theater was still in business when i was a boy of 11 or 12.this would have been in 1967 or so.in those days it was still safe and accepted for kids to ride the bus downtown and see movies at the malco,loews state etc…however we were warned not to go to movies at the princess as that was where the perverts hung out.i have no idea if that reputation was warranted or not.
this was a popul;ar drive in during their hay day but lost its glow along with others in the 70s….we would stow away in the trunks of cars to avoid admission fees.one of the larger churches in frayser would conduct an outreach ministry there on sumdays for those who wanted to go to church but did not want to go to the trouble of getting out of their car to do so.
i think the funniest thing about the frayser drive is that as it was in its death throes it began to show porn….now understand that the screen could be seen very plainly from heavily travelled thomas street….i would not be surprised if this was not the cause of many auto accidents.
i recall standing in line for two hours to get tickets to see ‘jaws'in 1975….the park got the exclusive on movies back then.i recall people brought lawn chairs to wait in line…and less that ten yrs later it was gone.
in 1969 or so i saw coogans bluff here and got my first fleeting glimpse of breasts in a movie.
i spent the summer of my 17th year in harrison ark working at a nearby amusement park.i remember going to the movies a couple times that summer here…glad to see they have brought it back to life.
my parents moved from memphis to covington in 1985.that year some one was still trying to make a go of the ritz as a movie theater showing second run movies… but i think that did not last long.
the northgate theater holds a special place in the hearts of a lot of kids who grew up in frayser in the 60s…it was the site of many a first kiss.
the theater was run during that time by a very nice lady known only to me as “mrs.ellis”…it showed second,third and fifitieth run double features with a couple of cartoons in between.there were a lot of horror/sci fi movies.ones i actually recall are ‘alligator people,house on haunted hill,4d man"…there were also westerns and every movie elvis ever made..“clambake…change of habit…viva las vegas”…i saw them all there at northgate.a one dollar bill in 1966 would give you admission,a coke and a bag of popcorn…not a bad deal even then.
there was occasionally music there.i recall as a very little boy going there with my dad to see carl perkins.that must have been about 1960.
mrs. ellis would now and then let local garage bands play there at intermisson.
the last time i recall ever going there was about 1971 for a matinee of ‘gone with the wind" which i had never seen.i think it closed shortly after that.