South 17 Twin Drive-In

1860 Wilmington Highway,
Jacksonville, NC 28540

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The South 17 Twin Drive-In was the only multi-screen drive-in in North Carolina east of I-95. It was closed by 1980 and demolished by 1982. The site is now home to the South Gate Mobile Home Park.

Contributed by NightHawk1

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on January 4, 2012 at 1:54 pm

In the 1950 there Six drive-ins in this city,Didn’t see a South 17.

NightHawk1 on January 4, 2012 at 10:56 pm

The South 17 was probably built in the 1960s. I used to pass by it on the way to Surf City in the late 1970s and 1980-81. It was torn down by 1982. There was another drive-in theater (X-rated) nearby, with a drive-in hamburger restaurant next to it, but I couldn’t find any remains of that theater or the restaurant. The South 17 Twin Drive-In advertised on local late night TV in the 1970s, WCTI-TV 12’s “Will C’s Red Eye Cinema”, which ran drive-in-type movies on Saturday late night long before Saturday Night Live existed.

NightHawk1 on August 29, 2012 at 12:51 am

I’m amazed that of Jacksonville’s drive-in theaters, only the South 17 Twin and the Cinema Drive-In are listed; apparently all the others are long forgotten. I vaguely remember the XXX drive-in theater near the South 17 Twin mentioned in my last post on this page; it may have been called the Moonlite Drive-in and was north of the South 17 Twin.

NightHawk1 on September 11, 2014 at 12:08 pm

The X-rated drive-in that was just north of the South 17 Twin was most likely the Starlite Drive-In listed on Cinema Treasures' Jacksonville, NC theaters. The Starlite was most likely located on the corner of Canady Road and Blue Creek School Road (modern address – That stretch of Canady Road was the southbound lanes of Wilmington Highway when the Starlite was still standing). The Onslow County school bus garage next to the Triangle Motor Inn looks like a converted drive-in theater site, but is too close to the motel and too far north of the South 17 Twin site to have been the X-rated drive-in that I remember from years ago.

NightHawk1 on October 7, 2014 at 10:00 pm

The school bus garage located at 450 Wilmington Highway was apparently built on the site of a drive-in theater, the name and dates of operation for which I do not know. The shape of the lot in aerial views strongly suggest that the site was once a drive-in. Judging from the garage buildings presently on the site (one at the entrance and the main garage in the center of the lot), the drive-in theater at 450 Wilmington Highway was demolished circa 1968-1970. The South 17 Twin may have run the 450 Wilmington Hwy. drive-in out of business and forced the Starlite to run porn movies; the South 17 ran mostly standard drive-in fare (B movies, horror films, second-run features).

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