Hope Valley Drive-In
4161 Old Chapel Hill Road,
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Previous Names: Boulevard Drive-In
Located off Chapel Hill Road between Durham and Chapel Hill, the Hope Valley Drive-In(aka Boulevard Drive-In) was one of several drive-in theatres that were in operation in the Durham area.
The theatre opened in the 1940’s and closed somewhere in the late-1960’s(when it had stiff competition with several drive-in venues on that stretch on Chapel Hill Boulevard, including the Carolina-Duke Drive-In and others).
The theatre was closed and demolished in 1971. A shopping plaza or either a government building now stands where the Hope Valley Drive-In Theatre once stood.
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Recent comments (view all 8 comments)
Have no HOPE VALLEY DRIVE-IN listed or BOULEVARD DRIVE-In Listed in my 1956 Motion Picture Almanac. Shows Six Drive-ins in that city.
Thanks Mike Again.
The only 2 names I can come up with are:
Chapel Hill Road Drive-In, with 2 different roads mentioned, Chapel Hill Road and Highway 15, which are the same road, I think?
Valley Drive-In on Durham-Chapel Hill Road, which again, I think is the same road?
Correction: It was also known as the Boulevard Drive-In Theatre located at 3440 Old Chapel Hill Road in Durham,27707. It closed in 1971 and was demolished later that year. The drive-in was basically directed at the intersection of what is now University Drive and Old Chapel Hill Road(formerly Durham-Chapel Hill Road).
Either the location or the dates are inaccurate for this drive-in. Aerial photos from 1964 do not show any evidence of a drive-in at the address provided. Further research is necessary to establish a more accurate placement for the drive-in, and a solid closing date. If it was still standing in 1964, there are high quality aerial photos from 1964 available on Earth Explorer to document the location.
As far as I remember Chapel Hill Rd became “Old” Chapel Hill Rd. when Chapel Hill Blvd was built. I don’t think this drive-in was located on Chapel Hill Blvd. The information I have on “Carolina-Duke Drive-In” shows it operating from 1949 to 1952.
I also have information a “Valley Drive-In” was open on Durham-Chapel Hill Rd in 1954. The June 3, 1948 Durham Morning-Herald has an advertisement for “Drive-In Chapel Hill Rd” showing “The Michigan Kid” starring John Hall & Rita Johnson.
I downloaded USDA Historical Aerial Photos from the UNC Library and there’s a drive-in at the intersection of Old Chapel Hill Rd and Garrett drive. It’s image 12P_26.
The location is completely overgrown by trees in the 1972 set, image 172_88.
“4161 Old Chapel Hill Rd, Durham, NC 27707” will get you there on Google Maps. There’s a Family Fare Supermarket and a Four Seasons Auto Care there now.
I lived at 4116 Chapel Hill Rd until 1969. At that time University Dr ended over by Hope Valley School so it was only Chapel Hill Rd and Garrett Rd then. They was a trailer park behind where the Family Fair is now and then a youngesh pine forest from there to Garrett. A bunch of us kids from the area used to play in those woods and there were pieces of the screen all over and other relics. Some of the folks who had been in the area for a while told us it was a drive-in that got blown over by Hurricane Hazel which was 1954. If anyone has links to any advertisements or other material please share.
An aerial from 1955 shows the remains of a drive in at the 4161 Old Chapel Hill Road location. It looks demolished with no structures, only ramps. I’d say that this does not fit the description of a drive in that closed sometime in the 1960’s.