Badin Road Drive-In

2411 Badin Road,
Albemarle, NC 28001

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Badin Road Drive-In

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The Badin Road Drive-In has been around since 1949. In 1955 it had a capacity for 400 cars, and has always been a staple in the Albemarle/Badin area.

Contributed by Tammy Conner

Recent comments (view all 16 comments)

gbpianoman
gbpianoman on July 11, 2008 at 4:49 pm

As a first time visitor to the Badin Road drive-in last month, I can honestly say I will never consider returning. We wanted to watch the first movie on Screen 1 and the second on Screen 2 as we had seen both of the other features already, but were told that to do that (even though it did not require moving our car) we would have to pay double. I have never been to a theater with more than one screen that does not allow you to choose which two movies you want to see. Sound quality was poor, there were no speakers that we could see and I don’t see why they charge you to use a portable radio to hear the film that you’ve already paid to watch? Sound quality was poor. We ended up leaving about 10 minutes into the second feature as all we could hear was the audio track from the other screen, even with the rented radio turned up full-blast. The theater is very poorly laid out, too congested and you should never have to listen to the audio from another movie on a different screen that you cannot even watch.

kman
kman on September 1, 2008 at 10:38 am

We just went to the Badin Road Drive-In last night for the first time and had a great experience! They had great pre-movie music and entertaining commentary in-between movies. The audio quality was good via the FM broadcast. Some of the lower/bass-ier sounds (heavy/thumping music, explosions) were distorted for some reason but that was the only issue I heard.

I’m not sure what “drive-in man” is complaining about. Their policy about not switching movies at any time is clearly stated and understandable. And as for having to rent a radio to listen to the audio, that’s not the case – they offer rental radios if your car doesn’t have one but otherwise you can use your car’s radio or your own portable radio.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on September 26, 2009 at 9:17 pm

BACK IN 1956 YOU REALLY DID NOT HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT RADIO SOUND. I STOPPED BY THE COMERCE DRIVEIN THEATRE IN COMERCE ,GEORGIA AND TALK ABOUT SOMEONE OPERATING FOR GREED. THE OLD DRIVE IN WAS FINE.BUT THEY HAD PUT TWO SCREENS ON THE LOT ONE ALMOST SIDE BY SIDE.SO EACH FAMILY OWNED DRIVE IN IS RUN THAT WAY. THE BADLIN DRIVE IN IN THE LATE 50’S HELD 200 CARS AND WAS OWNED AT THE TIME IN1956 BY G,L, FAW. HE ALSO OWNED IN ALBERMARLE THE DRIVE IN IT HELD ONLY 150 CARS ONE OF THE SMALLEST DRIVE INS IN THE TAR HEEL STATE. SO YOU HAD IN THAT CITY THE DRIVE IN AND THE BADLIN DRIVE IN.

Americanroad
Americanroad on January 9, 2014 at 4:50 pm

Lacceee, I am writing an article about this drive in for American Road Magazine. Please contact me at dent67198 at mypacks dot net. I’d love to include some information about your grandfather.

raysson
raysson on July 28, 2014 at 4:41 pm

This was one of the remaining five outdoor drive-in theatres operating in the state of North Carolina. The others are located in Shelby, Henderson, Albemarle, Bessemer City, and Mount Airy.

Mmandarano
Mmandarano on July 31, 2014 at 10:48 am

Mount Airy’s drive-in is closed, just the following left: Badin Road in Albemarle, Bessemer City King’s Mountain, Eden Drive-in in Eden, Raleigh Road Outdoor Theatre in Henderson and Sunset Drive-in in Shelby.

Chris1982
Chris1982 on October 1, 2014 at 12:51 am

The Badin Road Drive-In if now fully digital.

Kris4077
Kris4077 on November 9, 2016 at 2:28 pm

You can now scratch Bessemer City Kings Mountain closed after 2014 season, But you can add Hounds in Kings Mountain.

NeonMichael
NeonMichael on November 11, 2017 at 9:32 pm

The Drive-In Theatre Owners Associate site says the the Badin Road reopened in 1994, which indicates that it was closed before that.


According to The Stanley News and Press, The theater was built by Gilbert Faw and son Raymond. Ethel Faw, Raymond’s wife, said she thought the drive-in first opened in the late 1940s or early 1950s.

“That’s the best I can remember,” Faw said. “Raymond ran the theater until 1966, then he leased it out.”

Faw said after the lease ran out, the theater closed down for a few years.

“My husband passed away in 1991,” Faw said. “I was able to lease the drive-in again in 1993 or 1994.”

In the late ’90s, Martin Murray operated the theater until (David and Judy) Robinson bought it in February 2003.

Roy Speights lives across from the drive-in and remembers when it was first built.

“We moved in our house June 1948,” Speights said. “I remember they were grading for the parking then. The theater must have opened later that summer or fall.”

NeonMichael
NeonMichael on November 11, 2017 at 9:53 pm

So the Badin Road was open in mid to late 1948. The first Theatre Catalog drive-in list, in the 1948-49 edition, listed one drive-in in Albemarle as simply “Drive-In.” The 1949-56 Theatre Catalogs had two drive-ins in Albemarle, the Badin Road (by the last edition, capacity 400) and the Albemarle (300), both owned by G. L. Faw.

The 1952-53 Motion Picture Almanac also had both Albemarle drive-ins. Its difference is that it kept the original half-sized capacities (Badin Road 200, Albemarle 150) through at least 1969. By the 1972 edition, it was Badin Road 600, Albemarle 300.

When owner info returned in the 1978-82 MPAs, both drive-ins listed Exhibitors, and the capacities were down a bit (Badin Road 500, Albemarle 250). Both were owned by Piedmont in the 1984 edition. For 1986-88, the Albemarle was the only one on the list, owned by Piedmont.

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