Earl Davenports Drive-In and Landing Strip

312 Highway 64 West,
Creswell, NC 27928

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I was told about this drive-in from a man who has lived in the area all his life. He said that it was located about where the scrap yard is now. I am not sure if the address above is the actual address. There is a Motorsports business next door that has the remains of a cement block building out back, this could be whats left of a projection booth concession stand. But without looking at the sight I can’t be sure, will try to get permission to explore the sight soon. In the mean-time I did locate somthing on the internet to authenticate this drive-in, the following contains an excerpt from the nomination letter for the city of Creswell to be included in The Registry of National Historic Places:

“After the Second World War, the town’s commercial center shifted away from Main Street north to U.S. Highway 64, a thoroughfare for traffic to and from the Outer Banks. Earl Davenport’s drive-in theater and landing strip, Miss Donnie Smith’s Restaurant, an IGA supermarket, and a number of other longtime businesses were located along the highway. One casualty of the 1950’s love affair with the automobile was the rural railroad system. The Creswell depot, which had seen railcars laden with potatoes or peas en route to Mackeys on the Albemarle Sound, or local baseball players traveling to Columbia for a game, closed its doors during this time”.

As you can see the drive-in is in the list of businesses. I am trying to find out more about this, maybe a relative that lives locally that may have some pics. More to come.

Contributed by Kris Ackerman

Recent comments (view all 3 comments)

Kris4077 on October 30, 2014 at 8:35 am

Does anyone have any info on this theater? Is it listed in any theater catalogs? It had a landing strip, was there a row for airplanes? Any information would br great.

Kris4077 on October 30, 2014 at 8:37 am

I am told there was also an indoor theater in Creswell so far have not found any info or pictures of this theater. This theater was located near the Drive-In Theater.

NYozoner on December 27, 2014 at 8:41 am

This could have been another “pop-up” temporary drive-in, as aerial photos and topo maps from the 1950s and 1960s show no evidence of drive-in remnants in the vicinity.

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