Thunderbird Drive-In

2550 Gordon Terry Parkway,
Decatur, AL 35603

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Built in the mid-1960’s as a second-run theatre, the drive-in attracted audiences from Morgan and Lawrence counties, Alabama. It was well know for its Saturday night bingo games (a version known as "Banko").

Contributed by C.D.Wahl

Recent comments (view all 7 comments)

jwmovies on December 20, 2012 at 12:59 pm

Approx. address for this drive-in was 2550 Gordon Terry Parkway, Decatur, AL 35603.

Theatrespawn on March 21, 2013 at 12:51 am

Cheaply built, the Thunderbird was on the outskirts of Decatur and really catered to residents of neighboring Lawrence County, which had no movie theatre at the time. It played second run movies, exploitation flicks, bikini beach pictures, horror movies – a perfect venue for American International Pictures product! Cars packed the theatre for Banko night (a variation of bingo), but the real draw was the naughty midnight movie. A showing of the X-rated version of “Cinderella” got the manager thrown in jail for a few hours. Of course, the city fathers had to watch the movie several times before deciding that it was “pornographic”!

Kenmore on October 7, 2015 at 12:27 pm

You can still just see the outline and a few of the ramps left from the drive-in.

kd3p76d on February 27, 2016 at 7:33 pm

I remember when I was around 6 years old in the very early 70s going to a drive-in theater called the Thunderbird. It was on Montgomery Highway in Vestavia Alabama about where Vestavia Bowl is now (1429 Mont. Hwy.) I loved the look of it with the neon lights.

DTaylor on February 7, 2017 at 5:19 pm

I worked in the concession stand during the 70s. Loved this place, I guess that’s where I get move love of B rated movies.

DTaylor on February 7, 2017 at 5:23 pm

Oh I’m sorry to say that’s not the marquee for the one in Decatur Al., I should know I had to climb up and change the movies. Across the street I’d flat land. The one you posted has a hill. Our sign was a V type.

kennerado on November 23, 2019 at 10:03 pm

The 2008 google street view shows the remains of the street sign/marquee. It was gone by 2013 but the base might still remain.

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