Saturday, June 18, 2005


Reading the Web site of my hometown newspaper, the Hattiesburg American (MS), there is a story about a very special place in the Pine Belt that has been recommended for inclusion onto the National Register of Historical Places.

It's.....a drive-in theatre.

You may remember them from your childhood, where you didn't even have to get out of your car to enjoy a good movie...or some other endeavor, like makin' out with your high school sweetheart while the film was playing, unless, of course, her parents insisted on a chaperone.

The Beverly Drive-In Theatre was built and opened in 1948, with admission 30 cents each to enjoy the Sonny Tufts drama "Swell Guy". The Beverly, one of only four drive-ins still operating in Mississippi, is unique to the area's history in several ways. Owners Herb and Sue Hargroder and their family actually lived in a residence built into the base of the screen. Charlton Heston was among the stars who the Hargroders hosted in their screen house.

But, like many of it's genre, it ran into some bad years and was closed from 1987 until 2001, when it was leased by a Mobile, Alabama-based company. While it no longer has it's putt-putt golf course, it still does fairly well showing first-run pictures and providing a bit of unique historical perspective to the area.


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