Thunderbird Drive-In

2550 Gordon Terry Parkway,
Decatur, AL 35603

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1968 photo courtesy of Gloria R. Nash.

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Built in the mid-1960’s as a second-run theatre, the drive-in attracted audiences from Morgan and Lawrence counties, Alabama. It was well know for its Saturday night bingo games (a version known as "Banko").

Contributed by C.D.Wahl

Recent comments (view all 6 comments)

jwmovies on December 20, 2012 at 8:59 pm

Approx. address for this drive-in was 2550 Gordon Terry Parkway, Decatur, AL 35603.

Theatrespawn on March 21, 2013 at 7:51 am

Cheaply built, the Thunderbird was on the outskirts of Decatur and really catered to residents of neighboring Lawrence County, which had no movie theatre at the time. It played second run movies, exploitation flicks, bikini beach pictures, horror movies – a perfect venue for American International Pictures product! Cars packed the theatre for Banko night (a variation of bingo), but the real draw was the naughty midnight movie. A showing of the X-rated version of “Cinderella” got the manager thrown in jail for a few hours. Of course, the city fathers had to watch the movie several times before deciding that it was “pornographic”!

DavidZornig on October 7, 2015 at 1:07 am

1968 marquee photo added courtesy of Gloria R. Nash.

Kenmore on October 7, 2015 at 8:27 pm

You can still just see the outline and a few of the ramps left from the drive-in.

StanMalone on October 8, 2015 at 4:12 pm

I wonder if this location was a Cobb Theater. The sign looks identical to several Thunderbird Drive Ins that the Cobb company operated in Georgia and Alabama.

While in college I often attended the Starlite Drive In in Milledgeville Georgia. It was a Cobb theater and they also did the “Banko” thing on weekends.

kd3p76d on February 28, 2016 at 3:33 am

I remember when I was around 6 years old in the very early 70s going to a drive-in theater called the Thunderbird. It was on Montgomery Highway in Vestavia Alabama about where Vestavia Bowl is now (1429 Mont. Hwy.) I loved the look of it with the neon lights.

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