458 GA Highway 56 N,
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Like a lot of drive-ins, the 56 Drive-In was a family operation from day one. The Bellamy’s opened the drive-in on Christmas day according to Tommy Bellamy. It was a thrill for his brother Tony to have a picture show right next to the house. They were just far enough away from Augusta, Georgia that this Swainsboro drive-in had a chance and for a couple of strong decades the drive-in did fine. Only illness from the boys parents closed the drive-in. However, by the late-1980’s they were back on the screen with what they hoped would last and it did for a few years.
Ray Hutto, theatre owner of the Southside said when he went out to shoot video the brothers were so happy. The old carbon arcs with a white hot light hit that screen with"The Rocketeer" in 1991, along with what they wanted Family films. They did play some R-rated action films for the rural crowd. One time a car caught on fire driving to the 56 Drive-in. The owner walked home got another car and came to the show. That is one of those theatre stories Tommy and Tony would tell.
Sadly, by the early-1990’s it was over with. The crowds quit coming and this time the Bellamy family called it quits. Ray Hutto remembered when he talked to Tony he said the screen is down and I have about 400 drive-in speakers boxed up with no home to go. I would be willing to bet those speakers are still out by the old concession in that tall Georgia grass.
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