Though drive-in movie theaters have largely become a thing of the past, in Greenwood people still hop in their cars to see movies on giant outdoor screens. In 1954 South Carolina boasted 99 drive-in theaters; today there are only three. Along with the Big Mo in Monetta and the Highway 21 Drive-In in Beaufort, the Auto Drive-In continues to invite movie lovers to a larger-than-life viewing experience. (The theater is also known as the 25 Drive-In in honor of its location on US 25.)
This historic theater was originally owned by A.T. Livingston and Olin Turner, who opened it in 1946 and operated it until 1954. Pete Zouras then leased the theater and succeeded Turner and Livingston as the manager. Zouras eventually bought the theater and operated it until 1986. It then sat vacant for around a decade. It opened again briefly in 1999, but owners Martin and Marsha Murray closed it again after just a few weeks.
Ten years later, it was purchased by Tommy and Carolyn McCutcheon, who revived the theater by increasing its car capacity from 250 to 500 and adding a second movie screen. The theater was also modernized with digital screens showing new releases. For the full experience, the McCutcheons also offer customers snacks and dinner from their on-site restaurant.
My mother was born and raised in Greenwood. She told me that her father built the Hwy 25 drive in. She doesn’t remember much about it. I wish I could find out more information about this.
The Auto Drive-In has always been the Auto Drive-In. The Highway 25 Drive-In was the second Drive-in Greenwood had. It was located on Highway 25 and Montague where the Kmart stood and now has the Ruby Tuesday that has closed down. I lived it and loved them both.
Larry Powell says
The Auto Drive In was NOT the same as the Highway 25 Drive In. The Highway 25 was on the northeast corner of the intersection of Montague (Highway 25) and the 72 By pass at the K-mart location. It was operated by Fred Alewine.