Woodzo Drive-In

1026 W. Highway 25 70,
Newport, TN 37821

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Woodzo Drive-In

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The Woodzo Drive-In was one of three drive-ins in the small town of Newport during the 1970’s, and I think the longest lasting. It was located at 1026 West Highway 25 70, which was on the left side of the highway if you were driving towards Newport.

The Woodzo Drive-In was located right next door to the Scenic Drive-In, and is the only place I have ever seen two separate drive-ins being literally adjacent to each other. The Woodzo Drive-In closed in the late-1990’s or early-2000’s. The projector from the Woodzo Drive-In was refurbished, and is now being used at the Stardust Drive-In in Watertown, TN.

Contributed by Bob Brown

Recent comments (view all 16 comments)

bbrown1 on March 8, 2010 at 10:19 pm

Mike, I haven’t driven through Newport since the mid 1970’s, but I am fairly sure that at the time, the Woodzco and the Scenic were the 2 drive-ins that were next to each other on the edge of town, and the newer drive-in, which was closer to the center of town was called the Newport Drive-In. All 3 were open at the time. I have also seen mention of the Scenic Drive-In as the Scenic Newport Drive-In. Maybe either a) what I knew as the Scenic Drive In was originally called Newport Drive-In and changed names when the Newport Drive In opened or b) The Newport Drive-In closed before the Scenic Drive-In, and the Scenic Drive-In renamed itself the Newport Drive-In. Something similar happened in East St Louis IL when the Cahokia Drive-in in East St Louis closed, and a nearby drive-in (actually in the town of Cahokia) assumed the name Cahokia Drive-In.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on March 14, 2010 at 6:14 pm

Bbrown1,yep, the Drive-in I was thinking about was closer to the city,but not far from the Scenic{Newport,which is still on the road marquee was called Newport] the Woodzo was next to it. So the third one was called NEWPORT DRIVE-in. I guess when they closed one closer to Town,they must have changed the Scenic to Newport,because I have family in East Tenn,and i make it a point to get off the interstate there and look at the old Drive-ins. The Woodzo a couple of years ago was standing with tall grass. There was also a walk in theatre on that same street closer to town,I remember “TROG” on the marquee when we drove by.It looked when they widen the road the theatre was torn down,but lokked quite modern.

bbrown1 on March 7, 2011 at 9:24 pm

At the link below is a blog written by Newport resident in which he recalls that the Woodzco and Scenic were next door to each other in 1977 when STAR WARS was released. You will need to navigate to blog dated May 27, 2007


Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on March 7, 2011 at 9:46 pm

I wish he could tell us the THIRD drive-in there.Thanks Bob.I watched some videos on the two Drive-ins I shot years ago,I guess weeds have covered up the Woodzo unless a Walmart is there now.LOl.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on September 17, 2011 at 12:33 pm

Great picture of the screen, see no Wal-Mart yet,bet there is not left of the Newport Drive-in right beside it.If you look quick you can see it from I-40 in the Winter.

Norman Plant
Norman Plant on September 17, 2011 at 2:53 pm

No sign of the Newport when I was there last Wednesday. The field of the Woodzo is extremely overgrown save for the gravel car paths. It was impossible to get much of a picture of the back of the screen.

mrkevt on September 18, 2011 at 12:10 am

Woodzo was always called Woodzo. Remnants of the large metal sign on the ground can be found at the entrance to your right just as you go across the curbed entrance. This sign was destroyed by a microburst in the early 2000s. Harold Smith (owner) passed away the week that titanic came to Woodzo. The following summer was its last. The theatre beside (behind) the Woodzo was the Scenic and it did show some interesting movies. The Newport theatre comprised the now parking lot and buildings that Krystals shares. (The intersection of the first redlight as you come into Newport from the Woodzo). It was closed to make way for this shopping complex about 1984. The Scenic drive in name was changed to Newport and reopened in the mid 80s, closed around 1990?. The ticket booth and whats left of the screen can still be seen. The projector/concession building was demolished in 2004 after the roof collapsed. If you go up on the hill just behind the Woodzo (turn at the BP station) where the Rescue Squad building is you can get a decient view of the Woodzo layout. Harold Smith was my neighbor for many years and I enjoyed his company and I can still hear him over the intercom saying “your pizzas ready”. I miss those days…

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on September 17, 2012 at 4:49 pm

GreaT Comment mrkevt,just drove by Labor day weekend.Grown up,Snakey for sure,but Screen is up.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on January 3, 2013 at 5:19 pm

Drove by there a few months ago,,Screen is still standing…

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on October 21, 2013 at 3:08 pm

SCREEN still standing can see it from I-40..

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