Dixieland Drive-In

31022 US-84,
Opp, AL 36467

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: McLendon Theaters, Southern Theatres

Nearby Theaters

Dixieland Drive-In schedule, July 1977

The Dixieland Drive-In was opened on March 12, 1952 with a capacity of 300 cars, owner P. P. Jeffcoat, who also owned the Midway Drive-In near Opp. John Young sold the Dixieland Drive-In to George S. Owen in May 1955. Motion Picture Almanacs listed its capacity as 350 cars. It was later purchased by the Ward family, then sold to Fred T. McLendon of Union Springs. It was also part of Southern Theatres out of Union Springs owned by Phil T. Richardson, Fred’s son-in-law. In September 1975 the original wood and slate screen was demolished by hurricane Eloise. It was replaced by a metal screen, which today can be found at Wicksurg, AL.

The Dixieland Drive-In made a final appearance in the MPA drive-in list in 1965 but it continued to operate until closing in fall of 1983. Phil Richardson sold the drive-in, screen, concession stand and booth to a local who built a church on the property. Its location is now a gas company and a Pizza Hut restaurant.

Contributed by Michael Kilgore

Recent comments (view all 9 comments)

fatfink on July 10, 2019 at 4:30 am

I have a schedule under the “Dixieland Drive-In” name for July 1977, so it seems that the name change didn’t stick.

MichaelKilgore on July 17, 2019 at 8:27 am

Good catch, fatfink. The Dixieland was listed under Opp AL in the Motion Picture Almanacs' drive-in lists from 1977 to 1979, owned by Con-McLend.

The MPA circuit listings showed the Dixieland among Connet Theatres' holdings from at least 1976 through at least the 1988 edition, nine years after it fell off the MPA drive-in list.

MichaelKilgore on April 27, 2021 at 1:16 pm

Boxoffice, March 17, 1958: “George S. Owen has closed the Dixieland Drive-In, Opp, Ala., for screen and fence repairs made necessary by recent high winds, which whipped through southwest Ala., north Florida and north and central Mississippi. Owen’s other operations consist of the indoor Royal and the Midway and Opp drive-ins."

MichaelKilgore on April 27, 2021 at 1:27 pm

Just pointing this out - the drive-in on Florala Highway south of Opp was not the Dixieland. The schedule that fatfink uploaded (thanks!) advertised that it was on “Hwy. 84 - Between Opp & Elba”, which places it on the highway northeast of Opp. A drive-in that was at 31022 East, US-84, Opp, fits that description.

Since George Owen ran both the Dixieland and the Opp (see Boxoffice post above), that suggests that the southern drive-in, closer to Opp, was the Opp Drive-In.

kennerado on May 31, 2021 at 6:22 pm

Actually MichaelKilgore is correct, there were TWO drive-in’s in the area which opened within months of each other. The Dixieland opened in March 1952, while the Opp opened on June 5th, 1952. The original owners of the Dixieland were Bill Ward, Dan Page, Charles Gautney and John Young. The Opp was owned by George Owen who appears to have ended up buying out his competition as per the above Boxoffice article.

kennerado on May 31, 2021 at 11:20 pm

I should also add, the location of the Opp was at the present day address of Florala Hwy & Mullins St.

50sSNIPES on June 1, 2021 at 6:21 am

Oh, Now I get it! George also owned the Royal Theatre nearby as well. He has been the owner of the Royal Theatre for more than 40 years as of 1965. I have to admit, but I was confused on where the Royal was actually located. Because sometimes it was listed either in Samson or Opp and they are 18 miles apart.

50sSNIPES on June 1, 2021 at 7:19 am

Also to note, George himself closed the Opp Drive-In on April 27, 1964.

Kenmore on June 1, 2021 at 12:49 pm

So, the address needs to be changed to 31022 US-84, Opp, AL.

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