Friendly Drive-In

Maiden Highway and Nicholson Road,
Lincolnton, NC 28092

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The Sunset Drive-In was opened prior to 1955. It was later closed, remodeled and reopened as the Friendly Drive-In in 1957. It had a capacity for 225 cars.

Contributed by Ken McIntyre

Recent comments (view all 4 comments)

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on June 17, 2011 at 6:02 pm

Learn something knew everyday,Had never heard of it,Ken.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on June 17, 2011 at 6:02 pm

“NEW” I know!

NYozoner
NYozoner on December 2, 2014 at 4:43 pm

Found a few clues o the location of this drive-in after reading an article in the Gastonia Gazette from November 27, 1947, page 7, about the construction of a new drive-in on Gastonia-Kings Mountain Road, probably in reference to the Diane Drive-in, aka US 29 Diane Drive-In.

The article mentions the name of the owner of the new drive-in which was under construction as P. B. Grigg of Lincolnton, and that he “also was operating the Friendly Drive-in Theatre in Lincolnton” which was the main clue to the location of the drive-in, which was previously indicated to be on US 321 in Gastonia. It was located much further north on what is now US 321 Business, or North Aspen Street. I found the drive-in using a 1951 aerial photo on HistoricAerial.com.

Lincolnton is roughly 15 miles north of Gastonia, but they probably advertised heavily in the Gastonia Gazette, as it was a much larger town with a wider circulation.

The address of the drive-in is:

2220 N Aspen St Lincolnton, NC 28092

The site is currently occuped by Carmike Cinema 8.

NYozoner
NYozoner on December 30, 2014 at 2:51 am

Further research indicates this drive-in was about 3.6 miles further north than indicated in the previous comment. The location shown in the previous comment refers erroneously to the location of the Starlite Drive-In, which was also on US 321, also known as N Aspen St, where the Starlite was once located.

The 1960 Motion Picture Almanac lists a Friendly Drive-In located in the town of Maiden, NC, which is roughly 7 miles north of Lincolnton. US 321 is also referred to as Maiden Highway 2 miles outside of Lincolnton.

Maiden Hwy & Nicholson Rd, Lincolnton, NC 28092 will map accurately to the location of the Friendly Drive-In, which is visible on HistoricAerials.com when viewing aerial photos from 1951 and 1960.

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