A Love Letter To SC Drive-Ins

Last weekend, the Charleston SC Post and Courier ran a very nice article about the three active drive-in theaters in the state: the Highway 21 Drive In in Beaufort, the Auto 25 Drive In in Greenwood, and the Monetta Drive In Theatre (“The Big Mo”) in Monetta, of course.

The article starts with Joe Barth, the owner of the Highway 21 Drive-In, who bought the place in 2004 when it was run down. “My wife would tell ya I was stupid,” Barth said. He cleaned up the joint, added a second screen and a playground, and now he’s enjoying the simple life of running a successful drive-in.

The “25 Drive-In Auto Theatre” was the next drive-in in the article. Its owners, Tommy and Carolyn McCutcheon, bought the 25 in 2008. Tommy came from the restaurant business, so the concession stand is a special treat, particularly the Barbecue Bacon Burger. “This is my 11th year, and I’m thrilled every time I look up there and see the big screen,” he said. “It still takes my breath away after all these years.”

The last stop of the tour is the Big Mo, set behind rows of peach orchards. Richard and Lisa Boaz bought the drive-in in 1998 for $10,000 after it sat idle for 14 years. They had been at a West Virginia drive-in the year before, and Richard suggested to his wife, “This is so cool; we could do this.”

The article includes plenty of wonderful photos of folks having a great time at each of the three South Carolina drive-ins, and there’s more story and details than I mentioned here, so you know you really ought to go read it!