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Charleston, South Carolina

St. Andrews Drive-In
(June 1, 1949 – November 1954)
460 Arlington Drive
Across from where the Mark Clark Expressway intersects with Savannah Highway. See map at bottom of this page.
aka: Henry’s Drive-In
(Feb 9, 1953 – Feb 14, 1953)
aka: Henry’s St. Andrew’s Drive-In
(Feb 15, 1953 – Nov, 1954)

Lawrence Henry Ayers and his wife Ruth opened the St. Andrews Drive-In on June 1, 1949. It was located off of Highway 17 South near where the Mark Clark Expressway intersects with Savannah Highway. Mr. Ayers advertised his three drive-ins as L.H Ayers Theatres and proclaimed them “Charleston’s Only Home-Owned Drive-Ins.” Their other two drive-ins were the Summerville Drive-In and 4-Mile Drive-In.

Mr. Ayers sold the St. Andrews Drive-In to Henry Smith and John H. Pembroke in 1953. On February 9, 1953, it reopened as Henry’s Drive-In. A week later, advertisements referred to it as Henry’s St. Andrews Drive-In. In November, 1954, the drive-in closed. Three years later the land was purchased by St. John’s Episcopal Church, which built a school on the site. Coastal Community Church bought the property in 2004.

News and Courier - March 1953

 

 


News and Courier - June 1, 1949

News and Courier - February 9, 1953

 

If you remember the ST. ANDREW'S DRIVE-IN, we would love to hear about it.
Email us at info@scmovietheaters.com


Magnolia Drive-In
(April 6, 1950 – October 30, 1977)
1500 US 17 South (Savannah Highway) See map at bottom of this page.

News and Courier - April 5, 1950

Consolidated Theaters built the Magnolia Drive-In in the rapidly growing West Ashley area. It opened on April 6, 1950. It featured a 65-foot screen tower and in-car speakers. The management boasted, “Finger-tip control enables you to adjust our golden-voice RCA sound to your own choosing!” The Magnolia had paved entrance and exit. Adult admission was forty cents.

The Magnolia Drive-In had a parking ramp that held 510 cars with additional seating for 200 people on their patio. The large neon Magnolia sign that glowed along Savannah Highway was visible for two miles.

The advertisement at the right offers a FREE JALOPY to a lucky (or unlucky) patron. The jalopy was given away after the feature film, "Jalopy" with the Bowery Boys.

 

Increasing property values was the major factor in the closing of the Magnolia Drive-In on October 30, 1977. It’s location is now lost among the car dealerships that now line the highway.

 

 

 

 

 

  The Magnolia Drive-In offered 100 gallons of gasoline for FREE to 6 lucky winners. In 1954, gasoline cost about 21 cents per gallon. Admission to the drive-in was 40 cents for adults. Admission for children was free. The following night, they gave away an old jalopy called "Leapin' Lena."

News and Courier - November 12, 1954

News and Courier - November 13, 1954

 

If you remember the MAGNOLIA DRIVE-IN, we would love to hear about it.
Email us at info@scmovietheaters.com

 


4-Mile Drive-In
(April 1, 1950 – December 1957)
1968 Meeting Street Road
See map below.

The 4-Mile Drive-In was opened by L.H Ayers on Meeting Street Road on April 1, 1950. It had a capacity of 200 cars. The newspaper ad for the Grand Opening asked, “You don’t have a car? Come anyway! Sit in our comfortable patio.” The 4-Mile Drive-In offered six-inch speakers, modern restrooms and a “Restaurant Stand” specializing in hot dogs.

Someone told me this was the first movie theater in Charleston to give away a free TV set. Considering television was one of the reasons for the eventual decline in movie attendance, giving away a free TV probably wasn’t a good idea. The 4-Mile Drive-In closed in December 1957.

L.H. Ayers operated three drive-ins in the Charleston area. Below is the movie schedule for December 2, 1951.

News and Courier - December 2, 1951

 


News and Courier - October 1956

If you remember the 4-MILE DRIVE-IN, we would love to hear about it.
Email us at info@scmovietheaters.com

USGS Topographical Map - St. Andrews Drive-In and Magnolia Drive-In

USGS Topographical Map - 4-Mile Drive-In on Meeting Street Road

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