Monte Vista Drive-In

505 S. Myrtle School Road,
Gastonia, NC 28052

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Monte Vista Drive-In

The Monte Vista Drive-In was located in Gastonia. N.C., a hard working mill town that had plenty of theatres to choose from. The Monte Vista Drive-In was opened on January 12, 1951 with William Holden in “Streets of Laredo”. It parked 650 cars. It was owned by Ralph Deaton.

In his book about the Carolina theatre business, "Stroke of Fortune" by William C. Cline he writes about Deaton," He was never satisfied with a booking. There was always "something wrong" that otherwise would have made a perfect engagement at the Monte Vista Drive-In."

It was closed in 1986.

Contributed by MikeRogers

Recent comments (view all 8 comments)

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on August 17, 2010 at 8:53 pm

I remember the Monte Vista being open into the late 70’s.

Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois
Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois on August 20, 2010 at 12:33 pm



Open for sure in 1967.

Need more info and photos.

Mayasbop on June 24, 2011 at 11:37 pm

Corrine Robinson owned it before her son-in-law Ralph took it over. She was my granduncle Elvin’s widow. She used to give my grandmother a pass every year.

RLRobinson on September 29, 2011 at 3:05 pm

My Grandfather Elvin B. Robinson started the Monte Vista theatre in the early 50’s with my uncle Ralph Deaton as the manager. A few years later E.B. sold ½ of the business to my father Elvin F. Robinson who became a 50/50 silent partner with Ralph Deaton which lasted until the theatres closing. Ralph continued to manage the the business until the end. My Grandmother, Corrine Robinson continued to own the physically property until it was sold in the late 80’s. The theatre was demolished in the mid 90’s by a local church who bought the property. I recall the great times my cousin Joe Deaton and I had working and playing at the theatre and of course watching the same movies over and over.
Randy L. Robinson

Joe S. Deaton
Joe S. Deaton on November 10, 2011 at 9:33 am

The Monte Vista opened in early 1951, several months after the Diane-29 opened. Elvin Robinson, a successful and innovative businessman from Bessemer City, was looking for an investment opportunity when “drive-ins” began popping up across the country. He cleared off an old corn field next to his home and began grading and hauling hundreds of trucks of gravel. He asked his son-in-law, Ralph Deaton, to help with placing and wiring speaker posts and with the help of Carl Creedmore, who later became the projectionist. A concession stand was built and a ticket booth placed along the winding drive into the entrance. The first movie shown was “The Streets of Laredo” starring McDonald Carey. Attendence was not so great that week but not bad either. Before long the theatre would be packed and traffic lined up and down Myrtle School Rd.

Joe S. Deaton
Joe S. Deaton on May 31, 2013 at 1:44 pm

I have some knowledge about how the Monte Vista was run and I remember so many of the wonderful employees, if anyone wants any history about who worked there or what was involved in the daily operation you are welcome to contact me. Joe Deaton

Mayasbop on April 20, 2017 at 11:02 pm

Joe, do you ever go to the reunion? My grandmother was your Aunt Mattie.

rivest266 on April 18, 2021 at 5:05 pm

The Monte Vista Drive-In theatre opened on January 12th, 1951. Grand opening ad posted.

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