Hilltop Drive-In

802 E. Martintown Road,
North Augusta, SC 29841

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Georgia Theatre Company

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Hilltop Drive-In

The Hilltop Drive-In was located in North Augusta across the river from downtown. It sat high upon a hill that overlooked downtown Augusta. Of all the drive-ins this one had the best scenic location right on the Savannah River.

It was owned by Holland-Boston Theatres, and would later be sold to Georgia Theatres. It was Augusta’s second largest with 631 parking spaces. Being located by the 5th Street Bridge, as you were going up the hill there was a large neon sign sitting below the drive-in showing the way.

On April 27, 1963 it played "Goliath" with Steve Reeves. Also showing was a cartoon carnival and "Teenage Millionaire" with Jimmy Clanton. I saw the Vincent Price horror movie "Theatre of Blood" there, along with the second feature "For A Few Dollars More". I later took my girlfriend Karen Anderson to see "Star Wars" not that we watched much of the movie. I remember the one drawback watching a movie in summer were the killer mosquitos that ate us up.

The booth was carbon arc, same as the others. Chuck Dray pretty much handled the projection, and he would also fill in at the Imperial Theatre. He would also watch for people sneaking in the back exit. One night a bunch of ushers drove up and changed the marquee to a rather dirty title. Years later we told Dray about it - theatre pranks!

One item of note: Chuck Dray told me when the Hilltop Drive-In got a soft porn R like "Student Nurses" or "The Teacher", he would take the print to the Modjeska Theatre where he would run it and mark the spots where he’d have to clip out any nudity. There was some North Augusta law that wouldn’t allow it, and the screen did face a busy highway. I take it that he edited the print back after showing it to restore what he had cut out.

The theatre closed in the late-1970’s. I had a chance to visit afterwards. Georgia Theatres had taken an axe to the booth chopping up everything in sight. I have a picture of the booth/concession stand.

Contributed by Mike Rogers

Recent comments (view all 64 comments)

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on January 5, 2011 at 6:32 pm

Movies At the HILLTOP!

June 13 1971 another insane booking,“VANISHING POINT” and “CHANGE OF HABIT”.

Someone outta make a book about Drive-in Theatre DOUBLE FEATURES.

Little bit better here, “LITTLE BIG MAN” and “RIO LOBO”

“CABLE HOGUE” and “GOODGUYS and BAD GUYS”. Sept 11 1970

NYozoner on February 1, 2011 at 11:42 pm

E Martintown Rd & E Buena Vista Ave, North Augusta, SC 29841

The above address will map accurately to the location of the drive-in, which was actually in South Carolina across the river.

Here is a 1971 aerial photo of the drive-in, courtesy of Earth Explorer and USGS.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on March 7, 2011 at 1:23 pm

I thought i had North Augusta on the Header,oh well it is across the river in South Carolina.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on June 15, 2011 at 1:42 pm

More Movies that played here…

Nov.2 1960 “TIN STAR” and “PSYCHO”

June 25 1966 “PSYCHOPATH”



Sept 24 1971 “BEGUILED” and “RAID ON ROMMEL”


Off beat Don Knotts film ever to get an “M” rating ,“THE LOVE GOD” and second feature “CLAMBAKE” on July 4 1969.

Trey Simmons
Trey Simmons on June 19, 2011 at 10:37 am

Does anyone know exactly when this one closed?

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on June 24, 2011 at 2:33 pm

Ithink summer of 78.remembered as mentioned in older posts going there and walking over the old site before it was leveled.Found one old One sheet,“Catlow” and that was it.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on September 26, 2012 at 12:56 pm

Still think all of these should listed under Augusta,too.

jwmovies on October 12, 2012 at 9:11 am

Now Southern Wesleyan University. Approx. address for this drive-in was 802 East Martintown Road.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on October 12, 2012 at 11:56 am

thanks.. was a pretty spot over looking downtown Augusta..

tcowan13 on August 6, 2017 at 2:48 pm

“I Went To The Hilltop Drive-In Many Times With My Dear Grandmother”

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