South Drive-In

3050 S. High Street,
Columbus, OH 43207

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South Drive-In

The South Drive-In was opened prior to 1957 when it was operated by the Academy Operating Co. chain. The last surviving drive-in in Columbus. Located on S. High Street, it’s not in an area that’s desirable for developers with a lot of empty lots and buildings around, so it may survive a few more years.

I was there this past Memorial Day 2004 to see “Shrek 2” and the place was nearly sold out. Great stereo sound through your car radio or boom box, better take one along as most of the post mounted speakers don’t work very well.

Contributed by Dave

Recent comments (view all 20 comments)

Mark_L on April 23, 2013 at 3:37 pm

Opening for the season on April 26 with digital projection on both screens.

Keith on July 12, 2013 at 7:58 am

Breaking News: Vandals cut most of the speaker wires at the South drive-in.

KenLayton on July 12, 2013 at 9:05 am

Yup, it’s posted on their facebook page about the speaker vandalism:

KenLayton on July 12, 2013 at 9:08 am

When I was doing drive-in speaker repair, I used 6 feet of 18-2 stranded outdoor wire per speaker. I bought the wire in bulk rolls from Home Depot.

KenLayton on July 13, 2013 at 11:19 pm

Wow, thieves steal nearly 1,100 speakers from the theater:

Mark_L on July 14, 2013 at 4:50 am

According to the Columbus Dispatch, 1500 of the 1800 speaker wires (from pole to speaker) were cut, apparently for the copper. 3 people were seen on security cameras at about 4:30 in the morning. The wire would be worth about $300. The theatre will restore the speaker wire.

Silicon Sam
Silicon Sam on July 14, 2013 at 8:06 am

A bit misleading, nearly 1100 speakers were NOT stolen, just the wire for them. Sounds like a good opportunity to install some sort of burglar alarm system in that place.

Chris1982 on September 30, 2014 at 11:33 pm

This is their website but it is not much to speak of. Their facebook page is much better.

NeonMichael on August 5, 2017 at 5:56 pm

The South’s history page says it opened in 1950. Then again, it says it was twinned in 1987, but the 1984 Motion Picture Almanac already showed it with two screens. Here’s the data dump from my Theatre Catalogs and Motion Picture Almanacs:

1949-50 TC: not listed

1952 TC: Milton Yassenoff, capacity 550.

1953-54 MPA: Milton Yassenoff, 700.

1955-56 TC: Milton Yassenoff, 750.

1959-63 MPA: Milton Yassenoff, 700.

1969-76 MPA: not listed (but I saw a 1969 newspaper that still showed the South)

1982 MPA: Rainbow Ent., 750.

1984-88 MPA: Rainbow Ent., two screens.

Mark_L on August 5, 2017 at 6:33 pm

My records show 2 screens in 1982.

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