Parkway Drive In Opens in Blount County

By: Whitney Daniel
By: Whitney Daniel

Blount County (WVLT) - If you're looking for a family-friendly atmosphere during the warm weather months, how about a trip to the drive-in theater?

Parkway Drive In in Blount County was a popular spot in the 50s and today, you'll still find several hundred families there each weekend.

After closing for 15 years, the drive-in is back open and as Whitney Daniel found out, it's more popular than ever.

"This is my favorite place," Doug Freeman from the Parkway Drive In said.

The memories....

"We would come to the fence and come to watch it," parent Thomas "T-Rex" Ogle said.

The atmosphere...
The tradition...

"Most of the time I fall asleep in the middle of them!" customer Aaron Inman said.

Whether the kids stay awake or not, the drive-in is the hot spot for family fun.

"Whenever we come, we play around sometimes," Inman said.

And it's a hit for parents too...

"It's awesome just to get to sit outside like you're in your backyard and watch TV and socialize," parent Kristi Ogle said.

"I feel safe having my kids here and my family, and we know a lot of people we run into a lot of friends, people we went to high school with," Thomas Ogle said.

A big tradition in the 50s, the drive-in has made a huge transition.

"It was the place to hang out and sort of make out and dates, but now it's more families. Everybody's bringing their kids, it's the safe place to let your kids run around together and the parents get to talk," Kristi Ogle said.

It's food, fun and games at first, but when the sun goes down, the screen lights up!

"I've been wanting to see this one a lot," Inman said.

"It's a part of Americana that you can't replace," Freeman said.

And did you know that there were once more than 5,000 drive-in theaters throughout the U.S.? Now there are less than 400!


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