Dixie Drive-In

Highway 29,
Wetumpka, AL 36092

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Additional Info

Previous Names: Encore Drive-In

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The Encore Drive-In was located in the Alabama town of Wetumpka, and was opened on July 10, 1952 with Esther Williams in “Pagan Love Song” & George Reeve in “Pony Express Days”. It was owned by W.M. Singleton. In November 1957 it was renamed Dixie Drive-In.

It was closed in late-1959, after the screen tower was damaged in a storm.

Contributed by MikeRogers

Recent comments (view all 7 comments)

Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois
Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois on September 21, 2010 at 7:31 am

Open ~1951-~1961 approximate? Can anyone verify the exact dates?

Can anyone come up with an address or crossroads, more info or photos?

maxandmarian
maxandmarian on November 17, 2010 at 2:21 pm

I’m W.M.Singleton, was owner of the Encore DI. First let me correct the capacity. It was 150 cars, not 100. It was located several miles west of Wetumpka on hwy 29 near Elmore. We opened in 1951 with a 10 year land lease. Near the end of the lease, a storm got the screen and I chose not to rebuild. For one reason, television and home air conditioning was already taking a toll on drive in theatres. Sorry, but I don’t have any photos. I later moved to Montgomery and became a member of IATSE and worked as projectionist at the Capri, the Paramount, the Empire, the South Plaza DI, the Charles, but mostly the Martin Twin and Twin Oaks 4. After Carmike automated the projection system, I became part of their management team. I stayed with them a number of years until I retired. I have always loved theatre work and the projected image since I was 16 and was projectionist at the Lyric Theatre in Prattville, AL. I live in Florida now with my wife Marian.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on November 17, 2010 at 3:58 pm

Thanks William,I was getting the info from the 1956 MOTION PICTURE ALMANAC.I have learned alot about how much that book can be off even placing Drive-ins in WRONG states.Please add all you can on the ENCORE Drive-in.And other stories.

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on November 20, 2010 at 1:14 pm

Thanks William for the first hand information.

jwmovies
jwmovies on September 29, 2012 at 4:41 am

Approx. address for this drive-in was 5525 Elmore Road. the entrance and exit roads are still there.

50sSNIPES
50sSNIPES on April 12, 2020 at 6:36 am

As Of November 1957, The Encore Drive-In Was Renamed Dixie Drive-In Until Late 1959 And Was Closed Following By The Same Storm.

50sSNIPES
50sSNIPES on January 9, 2022 at 6:33 am

The Encore Was Originally Operated By Max Singleton, Who Has Been Operating Since The Very Beginning, Which Held Its Grand Opening On July 10, 1952 With Esther Williams In “Pagan Love Song” Along With “Pony Express Days” And Paramount News. He Also Helped With The Construction Of The Theater Since Its Ground-Broke On April 3, 1952.

In The Late 1950s As The Dixie, The Dixie Had A Number Of Incidents During The Late 1950s. One Of The Most Notable Incidents Involving The Dixie Was Back On The Evening Of July 20, 1958. The Elmore County Sheriff Received A Phone Call From The Encore/Dixie’s Manager, Max Singleton, Involving Its Showing Of The Controversial Film, “Island In The Sun” (With No Extras Or Subjects, Originally Shown For 4 Days), Involving Mixed Relationships Of Color. The Film Had Experienced An Unexpected Off-The-Screen Showing When A Number Of Cars Blocked The Entrance Of The Theater. It Was Later Reported That A Power Outage Was Reported At The Projection Booth Only.

The Sheriff Replied To Singleton That He Advised Not To Show The Film. Singleton Agreed And He Replied That There Is Not A Single Angry Mob At The Theater. He Was Later Concerned After An Editorial Of The July 22, 1958 Edition of The Montgomery Advertiser, All About “Mob Censorship” Which He Expressed His Sentiments Exactly Concerning The Situation. He Also Said That It Will Be Better If The Police Handles The Situation.

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