Badin Road Drive-In
2411 Badin Road,
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Badin Road Drive-In (Official)
Previously operated by: Piedmont Drive-Ins
Functions: Movies (First Run)
Previous Names: Badin Drive-In
The Badin Road Drive-In opened in late-1948. In 1955 it had a capacity for 400 cars, and has always been a staple in the Albemarle/Badin area. A second screen was added in 2006 and the car capacity increased to 680.
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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.
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.
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.
The Badin Road Drive-In if now fully digital.
You can now scratch Bessemer City Kings Mountain closed after 2014 season, But you can add Hounds in Kings Mountain.
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.”
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.
Where was the other drive in theater located in Albemarle?
2 screens. 680 cars. Second screen opened in 2006.
Also has a horseshoe pit(possibly unique?).