Although a few drive-ins open every year, another few close when their retiring owners can’t find anyone willing to take over. It sounds like that’s what happened in Athens AL, where the Cinemagic Drive-In will close at the end of July because its owner, Ralph Freehauf, is selling the place to someone who plans to develop the site into a church.
According to WAFF, Huntsville’s News Leader, the Cinemagic opened in 1997 and added an adjacent indoor theater in 2006. (I praised that combination when I made just my 11th stop on my Drive-In-a-Day Odyssey in 2017.) Freehauf told WAFF that he had hoped to sell it to someone who would keep the Cinemagic as a theater, and there was a note that the new owners will keep two of the projectors for possible future movie nights.
“We did our best over the 25 years that we’ve had the drive-in, and 15 years that we’ve had the indoor to give them a pleasurable experience watching a movie,” Freehauf said.
If you head over to that WAFF link, you can watch some video (which I couldn’t embed here, darn it) of the Cinemagic’s final month. I appreciate that Freehauf gave his patrons notice so they can enjoy one last trip for a show under that stars.