15410 West Virginia Route 3,
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Located to the south of the small town of Sylvester on Route 3, south of Whitesville. The Jur Drive-In had its grand opening on April 25, 1952. The following article was printed in the Whitesville News on Thursday April 10, 1952:
“The Jur Drive-in on WV Route 3, just below Sylvester, will open for business Friday evening, April 25. It has been announced an outstanding picture will be shown for the grand opening., and there will be ‘surprises’ for everyone, according to the management. Already described as the ‘finest open air theatre in WV’, the Jur Drive-In will certainly be the showplace of the Coal Valley. With a capacity of 450 cars, the Jur Drive-In can accommodate an audience of over 2,000 people, allowing an average of 5 persons to the car. The very latest sound equipment is being installed and each car will be able to adjust the sound to their own likeing, just as they tune their radios. The pictures will be cast on a huge screen, measuring 64 feet high by 52 feet wide. The name Jur is derived from the initials of the three associates of the Joseph, Urling and Raad Theatre circuit, the corporation which is installing the new drive-in. The State Road Commission has agreed to place a speed limit of 25mph in the vicinity of the theatre to help solve the traffic problem. Manager of the new drive-in will be Ralph Hottle, who is at present social science teacher as Sherman High School and Mayor of Whitesville”.
This drive-in was opened about 20 years before I was born and closed in 1964, according to locals I have recently talked to. Severe economic hardships in the area in the mid-1950’s to early-1960’s prevented it from being entirely successful. It stood just as it was when closed until the late-1980’s or early-1990’s, until a new owner purchased the land and had the remains demolished. The pylons which held the screen were simply knocked down and buried in the same spot where they once stood.
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Recent comments (view all 4 comments)
recently found out the Jur closed in 1964
Today I talked to the owner of the land that the Jur used to sit on. He showed me the exact spot where the screen tower was at. It used to sit in front of a large pine tree. I went to the area and took a few photos. You can make out a couple of spots of the remaining concrete. He purchased the land 10 years ago and told me that the pylons that held the screen was all that was left when he purchased the land, the concession stand & snack bar were long gone as was the screen itself. He had the pylons bulldozed and buried just a few years ago.
Great pictures Jay!!
Thank you! Wish I could find more. I talk to locals all the time to find out as much info as I can. It fascinates me that my little hometown actually had a drive in! I walk the land a couple times a year, hoping I’ll find something new.