Putnam Drive-In

2301 W. Broad Street,
Cookeville, TN 38501

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2007 Marquee Sign

Opened in 1952, the Putnam Drive-In still sports its screen tower, street sign and marquee, though all are faded and looking more like industrial ruins rather than a rural entertainment center. It was demolished in 1997. The parking area has been leveled and is now used for semi-trailer truck parking.

Contributed by Will Dunklin

Recent comments (view all 3 comments)

jwmovies on November 11, 2012 at 2:10 am

Approx. address for this drive-in was 2301 West Broad Street.

MichaelKilgore on June 11, 2017 at 5:23 pm

From an article in the Cookville Herald-Citizen:

In 1948, while the State Theater was being built in Baxter, Benton Young was opening the Young’s Drive-In Theater on the northeast corner of Highway 70, and Peach Orchard Road.

Four years later, Stacy Wilhite, president of Mid-South Theaters, approached Benton Young with plans to build a bigger and better drive-in theater, with or without Young’s support.

They decided to work together and built a new drive-in theater, the Putnam Drive-In Theater, which opened in 1952, across the street from where Young’s original drive-in theater was. This new theater, the Putnam Drive-In Theater, thrived for almost 40 years.

The 16 acres that it stood on was sold in 1993 to make way for the Mid-South Machine and Supply Co. The owners of Mid-South wanted to save the marquee, because they knew of the historical significance it had to the community, but it was accidentally torn down.

TomMc11 on September 1, 2017 at 11:54 am

Ok, if you look at the Historic Aerial from 1950, there is a Drive-In Theater to the left (West) of Peach Orchard Road on W. Broad Street. If you look at the 1997 Historic Aerial there are the remnants of a Drive-In to the right (East) of Peach Orchard Road on W. Broad Street. Did this theater literally relocate across Peach Orchard at some point?

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