Hendersonville Outdoor Cinema

1419 Asheville Highway,
Hendersonville, NC 28791

364 cars

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Additional Info

Previous Names: Hendersonville Drive-In

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Hendersonville Outdoor Cinema

The Hendersonville Drive-In opened in 1955. In the business the projectionist will know flat from ‘scope. Eventually a theatre manager will know the talk. My first education in a flat print was my visit to the Hendersonville Outdoor Cinema.

Way before I worked in a theatre I was told the screen at the Hendersonville Outdoor Cinema was best suited for a flat print. I can’t remember ever seeing such a boxed screen! If they showed a ‘scope print it must have hit the pines on each side!

It was owned in the late-1950’s by Ben R. Pless, and was located on Asheville Highway. It parked 364 cars, more than its sister the Joy Drive-In on the other side of town. It was run by Jim Northington who also ran the Carolina Theatre which was later to be twinned into Carolina 1 and 2.

I remember going to that drive-in a few times. It certainly was not as nice as the Joy Drive-In. The concession and booth were one level but the Hendersonville Outdoor Cinema had a screening room off to the right of the concessions with theatre chairs for 20 or 30 moviegoers. It was really the only decent thing about this drive-in.

Back in the 1950’s and up until the late-1960’s or early-1970’s it was known as Hendersonville Drive-In. Not much of a name but that was it. On April 7, 1955 the drive-in was playing "Overland Pacific" and the second hit "Paris Playboys." They also had color cartoons, short subjects, and news.

However, by the late-1970’s they had "The Preacherman" and "Hot Summer in Barefoot County" both of these were rated R. As Ray Hutto told me, they also went for the adult crowd and ran hardcore X on Friday and Saturday nights.

As Ray said, "it was strictly for the money." He said the policy was to clear the lot of any children and then start the X-rated feature. I often wondered how many kids fell asleep in their cars while mom and dad stayed and watched the "hot" feature.

Sadly by October 22, 1977 like so many drive-ins, the Hendersonville Outdoor Cinema would run adult shows during the week. The one night I went there "The Getaway" was the second feature and it was ending. It wasn’t long before the X-rated late show was on that screen. Hardly enough time for families to leave.

I often wondered if they picked up prints from the X-rated Fine Arts Theatre in Asheville. Ray said "no" but he was mainly at the Joy Drive-In and Carolina 1 and 2. By 1979 The Joy Drive-In was long gone. The Joy Drive-In was mostly a family drive-in.

Ray said the pictures at the Hendersonville got so hardcore that lights had to be put up in the back lot to blank out the screen even though there was no major road that could have seen the screen!

On February 28, 1978 the Hendersonville is playing "Return to Macon County" rated PG and "Monte Walsh." Hendersonville Outdoor Cinema showed all adult films until March 15, 1977. It closed to little or no fanfare in the local press.

Contributed by Mike Rogers

Recent comments (view all 18 comments)

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on May 14, 2010 at 2:20 pm

I don’t know i will have to pull the ad,but it was cheapie,I will make you a copy of the ad and send it down. Any luck,TLSLOEWS with Robin. I bet alarms went off when i typed that name in.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on May 17, 2010 at 6:41 pm

Nick, I found the movie ad if you see this i will be mailing it down when i get to a printer.“THE BODY SHOP”.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on May 20, 2010 at 2:54 pm

Hey,I know you have that ad somewhere in the hundreds i have sent,If you can’t find “THE BODY SHOP” I found my copy and will make you one.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on May 25, 2010 at 2:05 pm

SPECIAL DUSK TO DAWN.Saturday Night,May 27th.



3.TWO MINUTE WARNING {the R-rated start now]

5.FULIFILLMENT rated XXX. Grab bags worth $20.00 fot a dollar. Bring the family the ad said[ but if you have small ones better leave after “Skyriders” is over. they had double bingo.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on May 25, 2010 at 2:07 pm

Two different types of cops play at the HENDERSONVILLE OUTDOOR CINEMA.
JOHN WAYNE in “BRANNIGAN” rated PG and second movie is ROBERT BLAKE in"ELECTRA GLIDE IN BLUE" rated PG.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on May 25, 2010 at 2:13 pm


  1. THE INCREDIBLE MELTING MAN…come prepared!

Plus THEY CAME FROM WITHIN" both movies rated R.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on October 18, 2010 at 2:25 pm


July 21 1978 sees “HARPER VALLEY PTA” playing with “THE GREAT TEXAS DYNAMITE CHASE”,of course there is a FREE XXX Midnight Show Friday and Saturday.

Nov.30 1978 sees “BOOT HILL” and “CHEERLEADERS BEACH PARTY” what crazy double feature.

Dec.1 1978 “TEAM MATE” and “SUPER CHICKS” opens,XXXX Show friday and Saturday after the regular features.

Dec 31 1979

Now showing at the OUTDOOR CINEMA

“MOUNTAIN FAMILY ROBINSON” and “IN SEARCH OF HISTORIC JESUS”.then after the family movie the XXX rated feature starts,hope they give the decent folks a chance to get out of there! You can’t make this stuff up.

Jan. 5 1980

Now playing “GOOD GUYS WEAR BLACK” and “A FORCE OF ONE” plus a big triple XXX Late show.

Jan 9 1980 sees “BLOODLINE” and “FIREPOWER” playing.Guess what plays after the regular features,Yep,XXX late show.

is RUSS MEYER’s"BENEATH THE VALLEY OF THE ULTREVIXENS" hate to put that on a marquee.Also RUSS MEYER’S “VIXENS” and the usual XXX feature Midnight show.

Jan 30 1980
Now showing CLINT EASTWOOD in “ESCAPE FROM ALCATRAZ” and “CRIME BUSTERS” and the XXX Late show!!!

Feb. 22 1980
Pretty decent film line up “STARTING OVER” and “COMING HOME” Plus the XXX midnight show. I do not include the porn.

April 10 1980 NOW PLAYING “THE ROSE” and “OLD BOYFRIENDS” plus A third feature “THEY CAME FROM WITHIN” I assume that is a horror movie and not the XXX film.This weekend no XXX late show.I mean how much XXX crap can small town watch?

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on August 24, 2011 at 2:18 pm

Talked to my cousin, Ray. He is suppose to be getting up stories on this Drive-in and the other theatres in town,can’t wait to get them on,all the old employees meet every wednesday for a get together at dinner,none are on line and don not mess with computers and such, so hope he can write down the stories.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on January 15, 2012 at 8:52 am

Here it is 2012 and my Cousin has gotten nothing together sorry for the tease.

jwmovies on October 9, 2012 at 10:29 pm

Approx. address for this drive-in was 1419 Asheville Highway.

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