Piedmont Drive-In

2426 Piedmont Road NE,
Atlanta, GA 30324

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Piedmont Drive-In

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Opened prior to 1955, and located on Piedmont Road NE at Lindbergh Drive NE. This was not a drive-in theater that was glitzy or glamorous. It was pretty much a working-class theater, with a great concession stand. There was a kiddie section almost right below the screen, where the parents would escort us so they could have peace and quiet in the car. They would retrieve us at the end of the movie.

Later, it was a favorite place to take dates for obvious reasons. On weekends, the theatre hired an off-duty policeman to walk up and down the rows of cars, shining his flashlight in, and cautioning couples to keep their heads above the seat.

Contributed by William J. Brotherton

Recent comments (view all 15 comments)

Jester on August 28, 2011 at 2:01 pm

I’m not sure all of Mr. Malone’s recollections are accurate. The Piedmont Drive-In was followed by Hastings Nurseries, a huge nursery and retail gardening facility. From there it went to retail and restaurants, and from that to Marta. And I think that the Arlan’s on Ponce de Leon became a huge Asian market before it was torn down for the present large shopping center (Home Depot, Whole Foods, Borders Books,Office Depot, et cetera.). I don’t think the government ever had anything to do with the old Ponce de Leon site. The City of Atlanta bought the old Sear’s distribution center/retail store directly across Ponce de Leon, and it has since been sold to private developers.

Drive-In 54
Drive-In 54 on January 30, 2012 at 7:47 pm

Added Aerial from 1960

WillDockery on March 9, 2012 at 8:52 pm

My memories of the area are from around the 1979-84 time period when I lived and worked near there, worked at Carolina Lumber & Supply a bit to the south of this area, on Plaster Bridge Road, and the memories are very vivid. At that time, the Atlanta Flea Market was there, in a building that looked like it was once a department store, although I reckon it could have been the former location of Hastings Nursery, which by that time was located out Lindberg Drive at the corner of Cheshire Bridge Road, a few blocks to the east of Piedmont Road, across from the Varisty Jr.

Next to the Flea Market on one side was Shoney’s (the caving in building can still be seen there today), and across the street, across Lindberg, from the Flea Market was (in 1979-80) the empty building that once was a Copperfield’s nightclub.

Across from there was the small strip that housed Ken’s Tavern and Moonshadow Saloon, a couple of hopping nightspots for us working class types of the early 1980s. Past that going up Piedmont, and across from the fairly huge Flea Market space was a Sizzling Steaks, and a Zesto’s, which, amazingly, is also still in the same spot. Then Broadview Plaze, which was anchored by K-Mart, Picadilly Cafe, and the Screening Room Theaters mentioned earlier. What isn’t mentioned is that before becoming movie theaters, the location was the Great Southeastern Music Hall, where many great rock, pop and country acts performed… including the Sex Pistols with their American debut shows!

Piedmont Drive in was before all this by over a decade, and it was forgotten by the time I arrived.

WillDockery on March 9, 2012 at 9:10 pm

Correction, that was Harvest Moon Saloon next to Ken’s Tavern, not Moonshadow Saloon, which was on out near Decatur.

timothyscott on March 30, 2012 at 12:10 pm

Mr Malone account is accurate. The theater was torn down for Arlans. Hastings was never on the corner of Piedmont and Lindberg. Spent many nights in the baack seat of my parents car Watching Elvis movies, How the West Was Won, and can remember the largest crowd for The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. The line went thru the winding drive and overflowed out onto Lindberg. Remember ther had a board up by concession stand that you matched your ticket number and could win goodies at concession stand. When I was real small use to be scared to go to bathroom because you had to go down those 3 or 4 steps to get to there. Very fond memories of this place and Hastings. We would shop for Christmas tree every year at Hastings. Loved playing by the pond while parents shopped. Zesto’s was always a treat. Kiddieland at Broadview Plaza was place to have Birthday parties.

bongostella on April 9, 2013 at 3:38 pm

No one seems to remember that there was a GEX department/grocery store on the site.

It became an indoor flea market in the 70’s
and was the largest building to be torn down
for MARTA.

jumboloan on September 18, 2016 at 1:04 am

I recall there being a Richway

galateasca on September 24, 2016 at 9:58 pm

The flea market was there..I still have a framed picture hanging up that I bought there. The Zestos is now closed at this location. Bennie’s Shoes was there for years. There was never a Richway to my knowledge, but there was a K-mart, the Screening Room and the Great Southeastern. In the back of the plaza pre-1975 was a children’s amusement part called Kiddie Land. I do remember GEX, but I don’t remember it being at Broadview/Lindburgh Plaza, but off I-85 closer to Spaghetti Junction. I think the building may even still be there.

I went to the Screening Room a great deal, but the drive in was before my time.

StanMalone on October 11, 2016 at 12:27 pm

Based on further comments, I think that it is safe to say that when the drive in was demolished it was followed by Arlans (a K-Mart style discount store), then the building was used as the flea market, then torn down for the Lindberg MARTA station. The Hastings Nursery was always at the northwest corner of the Cheshire Bridge, Lindberg, LaVista intersection across the street from the now closed up Varsity Jr. Hastings later moved to Brookhaven across the street from the Cherokee Plaza but is now closed.

The Kiddie Land at Broadview Plaza was gone by the time my family moved to Atlanta but I remember the K-Mart well as it was the first two story discount store I had ever seen. It had a good layout as all of the yard, garden, and hardware was on the ground floor which opened to the back parking lot and allowed close up parking since most people parked in front in the Piedmont lot.

The GEX store mentioned in a previous comment was located on the I-85 access road between Shallowford Road and the old North 85 Drive In. The Richway store also mentioned above was located on North Druid Hills Road across from Briarcliff High School and almost next door to the old Georgia Cinerama Theater. I do not go into this traffic clogged area unless I have to and did not know that the Zestos was closed. It must have operated there for 50 to 60 years. The Sizzler Steakhouse mentioned by Will was a regular stop for me as a group of us would usually go there following the Monday morning managers meetings once Georgia Theater Company moved their offices from the Fox to Lenox Square. Last time I was in the area the old Shoney’s was still there in its derelict condition although someone has told me since that it has finally been torn down.

The only change I would make in any of these later comments is regarding the Great Southeast Music Hall. Actually, the theater was there first, opening in about 1969 with the addition of the Broadview 2 in 1972. When Weis sold out and #2 became George Lefont’s Screening Room, the old #1 became the music hall. It then moved in 1978 to the site of the old Cherokee Theater.

Lots of movie theater history at this intersection as well as many memories for those of us who grew up in this area. Now it is just a traffic nightmare occupied by big retail and office developments with nothing unique to distinguish them from countless other such developments around the city.

WillDockery on January 19, 2017 at 6:09 am

I do think the Zesto’s is still there, as of a few months ago… a couple of other fleeting memories are of a Victoria Station that was still standing at the corner of Lindberg and Piedmont, I never went there but I remember seeing it quite a few times.

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