Belmont Drive-In

314 McAdenville Road,
Belmont, NC 28012

Unfavorite 2 people favorited this theater

Showing 1 - 25 of 32 comments

Chris1982
Chris1982 on October 1, 2014 at 5:59 am

From the Gaston Gazette: The Belmont Drive-In Theatre’s days as a viable business may have cruised into the sunset. Longtime fans get the itch to head to the beloved venue every year around this time when the weather turns warm. Visions pop into people’s heads of paying a mere $10 per car to watch a movie outdoors, under the stars. But owner David Lawing said the drive-in’s future at 314 McAdenville Road is more uncertain than ever. “We used to always try to be open around March or the first of April,” he said. “We’re trying, but I don’t know if we’re going to be able to get it back open or not.” The problem is one that’s been sneaking up on Lawing for years. The film industry is moving away from distributing movies on 35mm film, instead converting to a digital format that involves sending DVD-style discs to operations like Lawing’s. The Belmont Drive-In still uses the same, trusty projector that Lawing’s father, Bill Lawing, used when he ran it as a teenager decades ago. He and his wife, Peggy, continued using it when they fulfilled a lifetime dream and bought the drive-in nearly 30 years ago. But the conversion means Lawing will need a digital projector to continue showing new and recent releases from most studios. He said buying and installing that type of high-tech equipment would cost upward of $100,000 — money he doesn’t have. “It depends on whether or not we can swing financing to get a new projector,” he said. “We may not ever open again.” Film companies began moving away from 35mm prints last year and said they planned to completely do away with distribution last December, Lawing said. A post on the drive-in’s Facebook page last October reflected the growing dilemma. “We will be closed this weekend due to no 35mm prints being available,” it reads. Some of the film companies are doing away with the old film more quickly than others, but Lawing said the problem has become too big to work around. Myriad other problems have plagued the drive-in since 2011. It’s become routine for the outdoor cinema to open late in the season, shut down before warm weather ends, or sometimes close a couple of weeks in the middle of the summer. In 2011, storms damaged the large movie screen and roadside sign, requiring extensive repairs before the venue opened in June. In 2012, the Belmont Drive-In opened relatively on time but had to close unexpectedly for several weeks due to a faulty well on the property. It shut down again that year because of a rotten utility pole and other electric issues that were costly and time-consuming to fix, Lawing said. The bad well caused the drive-in to shut down early again last fall. Lawing said he’s holding out hope that he, his brother and his sister can upgrade the drive-in’s technology and stay in business. He is not confident. Closing permanently would pain him, he said, considering his family’s long ties to the business and nostalgia that exists there. “Everything’s up in the air right now,” he said. “It will be a big letdown if we can’t do it.”

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on September 6, 2014 at 12:30 am

I just heard the BELMONT is Closed……really strange it always had them packed in,,Maybe the couldn’t afford the UPDATES, maybe someone local will CONFIRM this/…

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on September 3, 2013 at 1:47 am

thanks raysson…guess digital will close this one….

raysson
raysson on June 2, 2011 at 6:44 pm

There was an ad in the Gastonia newspaper about the showing of Steven Spielburg’s 1982 hit “E.T.” which played here first-run on Friday June 11, 1982. In fact, it also played first-run at the Gaston Mall Theatre so it played in two venues in the Gastonia area. So

Susan Walker
Susan Walker on June 2, 2011 at 12:06 pm

The Belmont Drive-In’s spring reopening was delayed due to storm damage – but they’re opening in a couple of weeks! http://www.gastongazette.com/news/count-57988-teresa-drive.html

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on April 2, 2011 at 9:13 pm

Nick, we saw the PATRIOT there with a Disney First feature,Remember.How did they pull that one off.LOL.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on May 14, 2010 at 10:10 pm

Great Comment,Nick.

Nunzienick
Nunzienick on May 14, 2010 at 8:44 pm

I am so shocked and saddened to hear of Peggy’s passing. I would like to extend my condolences to her family. She was such a nice friendly lady who took the time out to talk with us and actually allowed us inside the booth. And what a thrill that was for me! She fully explained the daily operation/maintenance of the drive-in and the booth as well as the procedure for booking films (she wasn’t very happy with Disney’s exhibition policy for their films at drive-ins!) She also gave us a history of both the Belmont and the projection equipment. You’re right Mike! She did let Charlie make an adjustment on one projector. I think it was the film guide/roller that was about to come off and Charlie tightened it. We would drive up from Tampa each year during the summer for the Western Film Fair in Charlotte. That’s where we would meet up with Mike. We stayed at least 3 nights in Charlotte but we always saved one night (usually a Friday night) for our much-loved trip to the Belmont. It was surely worth the drive from Charlotte to this wonderful drive-in. I am certain Peggy is now watching over her family as well as her beloved Belmont!

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on May 5, 2010 at 4:16 am

KIngs Mountain Drive-in right up the road from the Belmont is on CT now.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on April 26, 2010 at 7:42 pm

Great Article Raysson.I met Mrs.Peggy several times.We would hit CAROWINDS in the day and drive across town on the interstate to Belmont.I oftened wondered if there was a short cut the locals used. But she was a top theatre person,one i would have been happy to work for. The BELMONT is listed as one of my favorite THEATRES.

raysson
raysson on April 26, 2010 at 7:25 pm

Interesting article about this drive-in theatre which is one of the remaining drive-ins that are still in operation in North Carolina.

“Belmont Drive-In Theater Remains A Family Affair”

article:
View link

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on April 21, 2010 at 2:13 am

You guys have great summer. Wish Augusta was much closer.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on April 13, 2010 at 1:15 am

Rogerpen, She was so nice to us.We took pictures inside the booth. She posed for one shot with us. I know you guys will do great every night we made it up from Augusta,after a day at Carowinds,that place was jumping. I knew to get there early and we were near the back even then. She told me part of the screen was old fence that was used when HUGO came through. I have always wanted to hit KINGS MTN,Drive-in. Drove by one afternoon,but we just pull in off 1-85 and we are there. I hope we can make it up,but if not all the best, I have a rather strange story on the Diane 29 Drive-in there if you care to read it and confirm if it’s true or not. I HEARD IT FROM A RESIDENT THERE.

rogerpentecost
rogerpentecost on April 12, 2010 at 2:08 am

Hey Mike ,thanks for the kind words .Hope to see ya soon .Opening weekend went great.Alice in Wonderland and Valentines Day is what we opened with and had great weekend.Thank you to Gaston and surrouning areas for your support.We will at all cost keep BILL and PEGGY’S legacy going with your help.I am honored to contribute my part to keep a family friendly form of ent. in our area,and if we can do half as well as Bill and Peggy ,i think we’ll do just fine .Still got a long road ahead with the medical bills,but things WILL work out.By the way ,stumbled on this site when looking for old retro pics of Bill & Peggy’s Belmont DI, anybody with info let me know we,ll set up contacts.Again looking forward to seeing ya soon@BILL &PEGGY’S BELMONT DRIVE IN!!!!

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on April 1, 2010 at 10:48 pm

Dear Rogerpen, As i stated before i knew Peggy from coming up from Augusta to see the Belmont. She was such a sweet lady and took the time to chat on very busy friday FANTASTIC FOUR opening or Spiderman I can’t remember the movie,just a great Drive-in that hope I will be able to visit. She had visitors from Tampa that would always make it a point to see a film while in the area. We would start at CAROWINDS and end with the BELMONT DRIVE-In. Great Summers I hope the people of GASTONIA realize the treasure they have in their backyard.

rogerpentecost
rogerpentecost on March 27, 2010 at 4:45 am

Thank you everyone for speaking so dearly of Peggy ! Such a tragic and sudden loss for our family. As many of you know this is a very tight knit group and we have all intentions to continue to serve our community with a smile on our face but still a little sadness in our heart.For the last month and a half ,I, Roger my wife Melinda(Peggy’s daughter) the kids and countless friends have been getting the place ready.Fresh coat of paint on the screen(Looks awesome)!!!!We’ve all worked real hard to get the place presentable for your enjoyment !Looking forward to hearing from everyone and SREAD THE WORD:
OPENING WEEKEND FOR 2010 IS APRIL 9TH

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on March 18, 2010 at 4:23 am

Good thought Patsy.

Patsy
Patsy on January 9, 2010 at 9:50 pm

If the drive-in stays open, her dream will be kept alive.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on January 9, 2010 at 9:07 pm

I am so sorry to hear about Peggy. I would come up from Georgia often and she always took time to talk theatre. I will pass her passing on to friends who also enjoyed her Drive in.I hope they will keep her Dream alive.

Patsy
Patsy on January 9, 2010 at 3:49 pm

RIP Ms. Lawing…you left many great drive-in memories with many residents, I’m sure.

Rain
Rain on January 9, 2010 at 3:22 pm

The owners name of the Belmont Drive-in in NC was Peggy Lawing. Sad to say, she past away in January. She will be missed.

Patsy
Patsy on December 29, 2009 at 2:32 pm

Mike: Thanks..will check it out online and perhaps a drive there.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on December 28, 2009 at 2:09 pm

It is U.S. 29 Diane Drive-in. I’ve always left the U.S. off. Also there is a street that runs by the old drive-in called Diane Drive-in road.Several years ago while exploring we noticed the sign on a back road behind the Drive-in. Road was a county road so i guess the name hasn’t changed. It was a short little by-pass.
I wish you could have seen the concession stand,it had a real wood burning fireplace made out of stone ibet from the North Carolina Mtns.

Patsy
Patsy on December 27, 2009 at 5:14 pm

How is the Diane 29 Drive-In listed on CT as I couldn’t find it?