Monday, August 21, 2006


Being from the Pine Belt area of Southern Mississippi, I make it a point to check out what's going on back home. So it was sad to read that one of the wonderful landmarks of the area is in jepoardy of being demolished, yet another victim of Hurricane Katrina nearly one year later.

The Beverly Drive-In Theatre is located just off U.S. Highway 49 south of Hattiesburg, less than 90 miles from the Gulf Coast. It was built in 1948, and is unique in that the owner built his family's home into the screen. Herb and Sue Hargroder's three bedroom, two bath residence featured a sunporch, and in it's heyday the couple hosted movie stars such as Charlton Heston there.

The Beverly was a popular place for much of it's lifetime, and the Hargroders never showed an R-rated movie there. It closed in 1987, but was revived nine years ago as a fundraising tool for the local Association for Retarded Citizens chapter and was opened again with a regular schedule in 2001 as it was leased out to various companies who attempted to run it until it's closure due to damage from last year's hurricane.

There has been an effort to place the Beverly on the National Register of Historic Places, but even that may not save the theatre from the wrecking ball. Repairing it simply may be too expensive, to the tune of $100,000, and the Hargroder family is unwilling to put that amount into the theatre.

So, another piece of history may be gone forever soon.


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