Posted by Mtn Man at 10:38 PM
A news story last year highlighted our local drive in as one of only 11 left in the state of North Carolina. Unfortunately, as of March 15th, that number has now been reduced to 10.
Bright Leaf Drive In
Reaction to the news locally has been overwhelming. Hardly anyone within driving distance of our town hasn't watched a movie at "The Bright Leaf." My parents took my sisters and me to see movies there on hot summer Friday nights, crammed into the back of a huge 1967 Ford Station Wagon, hoping we'd fall asleep so they could watch the second feature in peace.
Always, always a double feature. Sometimes, if you could stay out late, all night shows.
Unlike a lot of drive in movies, The Bright Leaf stayed open year round. The original owner, Don Davis, was always there with a smile and knew you by name. He's always ask me how my dad was doing. On Halloween there would be an all night spook-tackular, and if you weren't careful one of the concession staff would likely scare the bejesus out of you with a rubber mask and a growl before the night was done....
Unfortunately, Don died a few years back. The Bright Leaf was almost closed then, but the outcry from generations of movie goers who grew up with her bough her some more time. Some of the remaining employees- all of whom had day jobs as well- leased the property and worked hard to make it a great place to go spend a night under the stars. They did well- when the weather was nice, you had to show up hours before dark to get a good parking place. The food was some of the best anywhere- try getting a hot dog like that at the local movie chain! and they still showed the old trailers from the 1950's- talking popcorn and soft drinks encouraging you to stop in at the CONSESSION STAND during the intermission. And my favorite, a vintage 1950's short encouraging you to attend your place of worship this Sunday...