Sky-Way Drive-In

5642 Brainerd Road,
Chattanooga, TN 37411

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Vintage Image Of The Skyway Drive-In Theatre...Chattanooga, TN

The Sky-Way Drive-In opened on March 29, 1942 with Charles Boyer in “History is Made at Night”. It was closed on January 20, 1959 with Spencer Tracy in “The Last Hurrah”. The following day Pat Boone in “Mardi Gras” was due to open, but a violent storm just prior to the evenings opening did so much damage, it never reopened.

Contributed by Joe Vogel

Recent comments (view all 14 comments)

jimgreenwalt on August 1, 2006 at 8:17 am

My grandfather, Don Shaw, built the Sky Way Drive-In and assisted in the building of the other drive-ins in Chattanooga. Our family home was at 5500 Woodlawn Drive next to the Sky Way. We had a speaker in the yard. After the storm blew down the screen in 1959, we moved to East Brainerd. Our land and the Sky Way property were developed as Eastgate Mall. I have pictures of the Sky Way and aerials. I may have pictures of the other drive-ins too.

WillardWood on November 8, 2006 at 2:22 pm

Jim, if you do have pictures, it would be wonderful to see them. I believe I was at every drive in your grandfather built and owned. as a teen ager. By the way, my father in 1958 took me to the Skyway on Sunday morning to “teach me” how to drive the ole Chevy family car. He would get so mad at me. driving around the spacious lot. Thank you. Willard

jimgreenwalt on December 5, 2006 at 10:21 am

Willard, if you will email me via my contact email address on this site, I will dig out the pictures, scan them, and send them to you. I learned to drive at the 23rd Street Drive In. jg

kencmcintyre on February 7, 2008 at 8:13 pm

Here is an undated photo from the Chattanooga Library:

WillardWood on February 9, 2008 at 12:15 pm

Ken, all I can say is WOW. Thank you for sharing the pic of the Skyway drive-in theater. That pic brings back so many memories and good memories at that. One would be my parents taking us kids to see movies. Another would be the taking of my g/f in Brainerd to the drive-in at the Skyway. Again thank you so much for sharing. Willard.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on July 26, 2010 at 10:42 pm

Thanks for the picture.Doesn’t look like Scope pictures would play well there.

mkbtnvols on December 6, 2010 at 10:51 pm

does anyone have any pics of the 41 drive-in in east ridge tennesseecan you send me a pic of it thank you

Deannclum on March 10, 2013 at 1:03 pm

Jim or Walt, It’s been over 6 years since your post re the Skyway so I hope one of you are still on this site. I would love to have a copy of the Skyway aerial & photos for my parents scrapbook. Thank you!!!!

bogrunch on July 9, 2013 at 3:44 pm

Hello Jim Greenwalt; I worked in the concession stand of the Skyway from 1954 to 1956 when I graduated from high school and joined the Navy. My name is Carl Hamilton and I was the redheaded kid that Don Shaw gave a job too and I worked one summer on the grounds. I remember you and your sister(I think she was your sister),who lived in Warren, Ohio, my e:mail is

dallasmovietheaters on October 24, 2019 at 4:46 pm

Launched as the Sky-Way Drive-In on March 29, 1942 with “History is Made at Night. The Sky-Way closed with “The Last Hurrah” on January 20, 1959. A heavy storm January 21, 1959 caused major damage to the facility before the scheduled showing of “Mardi Gras” and the venue never reopened. It was demolished later in the year for a retail shopping center project.

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