It’s like a gem, hard to find, but when you do, “You don’t find many drive-in theatres anymore. It’s something that defines Graham, it differentiates us from other towns, it makes us somewhat of a destination for the people who enjoy theatre,” Graham mayor, Jack Graham told us.
The Graham Drive-In Theatre showed it’s first movie in 1948.
Owner, Pam Scott said, “It’s just such a historical significance that we love it and I know that the families that come here on a regular basis love it.”
Convention and Visitors Bureau Manager, Jenea Knight added, “The Graham Drive-In has made a huge impact on the city of Graham because it brings in visitors from all different areas.”
Many are willing to drive quite the distance, even coming from hours away to enjoy movies. They say it’s all about the experience and the memories made under the stars.
Graham said, “I had my first date at The Graham Drive-In Theatre, I use to come here every Sunday in high school, it was the ritual.”
Long time visitor, Debra Stamper added, “We’ve been in Graham 36 years so I’ve been here a lot. In the summer we’d come every weekend pretty much if we’re not out of town.”
Stamper said trips to the drive-in were a family affair and both her girls sure enjoyed catching movies here, each summer.
For the past 12 years, Pam and David Scott have welcomed folks like the Stamper’s through the gates.
Stamper told us, “Dave and Pam are very nice. Pam’s usually the one out at the ticket booth, when you come in, she visits with you, she always knows us.”
But Scott said now is the time to pass the baton. “We feel like in the next five years we’ll be retiring from everything, that’s why we’re still have the energy to help others take over the drive-in and train them, we just feel like it’s time.”
She added that they will continue to run the show until they find the right person to preserve the history and legacy of the theatre.
Previous manager, Christian Sanders finished by saying, “The Scott’s have a commitment to the community, they’ve been here a long time, they will not do anything or that would jeopardize that. They will make sure that whoever takes over takes over because they want to continue the tradition.”
Back in 2013, the Scott’s won the contest to upgrade their equipment to a new and modern digital projector. They say they’ve been so grateful to have won that contest to keep the drive-in, so they will not sell the theatre unless they know the next owner will also focus on keeping the theatre open.