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Since Hazlehurst is the seat of Copiah County, that’s probably the correct name for this drive-in even though no reference to it used precisely that spelling. The only thing that all sources agree on is that it was a Fred T. McLendon theater.
The Motion Picture Almanac of 1951-52 called it the Copa; starting in the next edition it was the Capiah. The 1952 Theatre Catalog called it the Copia in Hattiesburg. In April 1952, the Motion Picture Herald wrote that the Copia had reopened for the season, then on June 11, 1955, the Herald reported “A. L. Morgan of Fred T. McClendon Theatres advised that they have closed the Copia Drive-In, Hazelhurst (sic), Miss.”
So that’s when it closed, or not. The Film Daily Year Book and the Motion Picture Almanac both continued listing the “Capiah” until at least 1964 and 1976, respectively.
Capacity numbers varied as widely as name spellings. The Catalog showed 275, and the MPA went from 375 (1952-53) to 325 (1955) to 825 (1960-76).
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