Sunset Drive-In

5078 Clinton Highway,
Knoxville, TN 37912

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Sunset Drive-In, Knoxville, TN

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The Sunset Drive-In opened September 1, 1950. It closed in the early to mid-1960’s. I was told that it was located on Clinton Highway, not too far from the Merchants Road intersection on your right as you were driving towards Clinton from Knoxville. I suspect it was closed by the time the Twin Aire Drive-In was built a few miles north on Clinton Highway in 1969.

By 1972 there was a shopping center where the Sunset Drive-In had been; maybe a K-Mart, but I can’t remember for sure. I don’t know much about it, but was told by folks that lived in that part of town in the 1960’s that it was huge, and the notorious "passion pit" for the teenagers! I would like to know more about it.

Contributed by Bob Brown

Recent comments (view all 17 comments)

dking5
dking5 on September 6, 2007 at 5:51 am

Just visited the restaurant and the ad is actually a photo copy of an announcement of the opening of the Sunset Drive-In which had been put in the Knoxville newspaper. It opened September 1, 1950 and had parking for 1400. The movie, Sunset In The West, was shipped in by “special” shipping just for the opening.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on March 20, 2010 at 8:53 pm

It must have closed before 1967 because i can find no ads in the Knoxville papers i have. has anyone in Knoxville written up the Twin_air Drive-in on CT. When i search for it it states there is no theatre listed. Hopefully someone up that way will. I saw it once and it looked real nice.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on March 31, 2010 at 6:39 pm

Thanks for the info.everytime i searched for it I couldn’t find it.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on September 12, 2010 at 8:04 pm

It was a Howard and Howard Drive-in.[in 1956]

jwmovies
jwmovies on December 16, 2012 at 6:22 am

Approx. address for this drive-in was 6635 Clinton Highway. Now Chili’s & Home Depot.

tntim
tntim on August 23, 2013 at 10:54 am

JW, the Sunset Drive-in was in the 5000 block of Clinton Hwy. The Twin-Aire was in the 6600 block where Wal-Mart is now located.

BOTTLDIGGER
BOTTLDIGGER on July 8, 2014 at 10:13 am

I THINK I SAW WERE THE SUNSET HAD 1500 SPEAKERS – IT WAS ADVERTISED AS THE LARGEST SINGLE SCREEN IN THE WORLD.

NYozoner
NYozoner on November 27, 2014 at 2:10 pm

5078 Clinton Hwy
Knoxville, TN 37912

The above address will map accurately to the location of the drive-in, which is now occupied by a retail shopping plaza anchored by Food City, Advance Auto Parts, and Ace Hardware.

tntim
tntim on December 13, 2014 at 2:40 pm

I have added a picture of the highway entrance in the photo section.

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