Sparta Drive-In

N. Spring Street and N. Edgewood Drive,
Sparta, TN 38583

Unfavorite No one has favorited this theater yet

Showing 7 comments

Kenmore
Kenmore on March 20, 2017 at 2:55 pm

I wonder if the Parkaway and the Sparta are not the same drive-in.

A 1951 aerial photo on NETRonline clearly shows the Sparta Drive-in, but no evidence of any other drive-in along the highway or anywhere I can see near Sparta itself.

Unless someone can come up with an address, it seems quite possible that they are the same drive-in or that a mistake has been made in the Theatre Catalog, perhaps mixing it up with the Parkaway in Maryville, TN.

NeonMichael
NeonMichael on March 20, 2017 at 8:39 am

Four comments in one:

  • The Sparta has converted to digital. The Sparta web site’s gallery page says the old projector was “last seen in 2013,” and its Facebook page shows the arrival of the digital projector in February 2014.

  • That gallery page also shows how they can fit more than 200 cars – they use the open field behind the graded rows. The Theatre Catalogs listed it at 200. The IMPAs listed it at 196 until it jumped to 625 in 1982.

  • As Drive-In 54 suggested, that gallery page also shows very extensive renovation in 2002. DriveInMovies.com wrote (around 2003 or so) that “For years, the only feature visible here had been the often seen Ravages of Neglect.” So we know for sure that it had closed, but I still can’t tell when.

  • How old is it? In 2013, (then-?)owner Tommy Brown told ABC News that the Sparta was built in 1943, so that’s probably it. The 1952 Theatre Catalog lists the Sparta, yet earlier Catalogs showed the Park-A-Way in Sparta but not the Sparta Drive-In. (The IMPAs listed both for a while, so it’s probably not a name change.)

Chris1982
Chris1982 on October 8, 2014 at 12:26 am

Car capacity is listed at 635. According to their website they are not digital.

Drive-In 54
Drive-In 54 on August 23, 2013 at 2:15 pm

In looking at the pictures on the website it looks like it was closed for awhile!

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on May 26, 2010 at 5:48 pm

Another Tennessee drive-in.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on May 26, 2010 at 4:41 pm

The SPARTA DRIVE-IN parked just 196 cars and was owned in 1956 by Cumberland.