Marietta Drive-in

1250 S. Marietta Parkway SE,
Marietta, GA 30060

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50sSNIPES on March 18, 2024 at 2:35 pm

This closed in the 1980s. A 1981 aerial view shows the theater still in operation, but the screen was removed by 1988. With the exception of the screen, the rest of the drive-in remained standing for years. It was in good condition that the entire traces were converted into parking lots until it was gutted in late-2003.

DavidZornig on August 20, 2020 at 7:05 pm

1956 grand opening marquee image as Georgia Drive-In Theatre added courtesy Sherry Chisholm. I will add a separate page for Martin Drive-In on Roswell Road.

Mike Durrett
Mike Durrett on July 27, 2014 at 12:54 pm

Gee. I see by the aerial photo that the screen was not on the highway, but at the bottom of the hill. Interesting and good to know for certain. Also, notice the pre-CinemaScope screen. It’s 4:3 shape, which was so 1948.

rdavisr on July 25, 2014 at 9:43 am

The Martin Drive-in opened about 1948 give or take a couple of years. Varner’s Grill was also on the north side of Roswell road, maybe an eighth of a mile west of the drive-in.

rdavisr on July 25, 2014 at 9:39 am

I worked at the Martin Drive-in from 1954 thru 1957. Jerome Zimmerman was manager. He was the younger brother of James Zimmerman, who managed the Strand in Marietta. It was located on the north side of Roswell Road, directly across from East Marietta shopping center.

jwmovies on October 21, 2012 at 12:48 pm

Approx. address for this drive-in was 1250 South Marietta Parkway Southeast. Now housing for Southern Poly Tech University.

WGT on October 14, 2012 at 7:36 pm

I spent many of my teen age years at the drive inns. Both at the Martin and the Georgia. That would be in the mid to late 60’s. The Martin was the nicer one. They showed the newer movies. Really miss those cool nights ..

Mike Durrett
Mike Durrett on April 10, 2011 at 10:42 pm

If she wasn’t impressed, she should have been.

I hope you got to take the Edsel to see THE GHOST AND MR. CHICKEN.

karatattoo on April 10, 2011 at 8:20 pm

I don’t remember when any of the Cobb County drive-ins closed either, but I do remember that the last movie I saw at a drive-in was “The French Connection” at the Georgia Drive-In in 1972. I took my girlfriend there in my 1958 Edsel!

Mike Durrett
Mike Durrett on April 10, 2011 at 8:49 am

I worked for WFOM Radio in Marietta for two periods between 1974 and 1980. I wrote and announced the commercials for the Martin Drive-ins in the area, 75 spots each weekend. The Georgia, Smyrna, and Marbro Twin were all operational in early 1980 when I left the station. I remained in the area, but don’t recall these theatres' specific closings. We did see STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN at the Marbro in June, 1982, our last visit to any of the locations.

Mike Durrett
Mike Durrett on April 10, 2011 at 8:25 am

Ooo, you beat me to it, Sharples. I was actually scouting the Georgia and Martin Drive-in locations yesterday afternoon, when I recognized the error. I had intended to post a correction to my fuzzy sense of directions here. Apologies to The Big Chicken.

karatattoo on April 10, 2011 at 7:59 am

“The Georgia Drive-in was operational less than a mile down the road, past I-75 at Hwy 41, diagonally across the road from legendary The Big Chicken.”

Not quite. The Georgia Drive-In was further south on Hwy.41 (then called The Four Lane)at the next intersection, which was at Clay Street(now called the 120 South Loop).

The former entrance to the drive-in is now occupied by a small Greyhound bus station.

Mike Durrett
Mike Durrett on March 15, 2011 at 10:16 pm

I moved to Marietta in 1974. This drive-in was not there at the time. The property was adjacent to Town and Country Shopping Center, which housed a newish Eastern Federal indoor twin, literally backing up to the Martin property. I saw BLAZING SADDLES in the twin on opening day of its release. New London Square was up and running on the drive-in’s real estate, as I recall.

The Georgia Drive-in was operational less than a mile down the road, past I-75 at Hwy 41, diagonally across the road from legendary The Big Chicken.

The Smyrna Drive-in was still going in the Fair Oaks area.

The Marbro Twin Drive-in in nearby Austell was thriving. Martin’s last built drive-in in Cobb County.

I’m only recently learning of the Martin Drive-in, but I know where it was located and will be going to check it out for “after” photos. New London Square is essentially an amphitheatre in its terrain. The Martin screen was on the road at the top edge of the property. The stores are downhill on the edges.

I have reason to believe the Martin was operational before 1956 and before the 1953-54 CinemaScope era, but it’s a hunch at this point.

raymondstewart on February 8, 2011 at 5:14 pm

I don’t know of the Georgia ever being known as the Marietta but could have been. The city and state spent a bundle of money at that intersection so Martin could have been paid some money to relocate signage and changed it then. The Smyrna was known as the Fair Oaks at one point. As the area grew Smyrna and Marietta grew and the area known as Fair Oaks faded away. As far as I know the Martin was always the Martin. Martin used their name just about anywhere they could, so since there wasn’t a “Martin” hardtop in the area it makes sense they’d use it for the drive in.

NYozoner on February 7, 2011 at 2:53 pm

Thanks Raymond. Trying to sort through this information is kinda difficult, when people leave vague comments which assume you are from the area or understand what they mean. It’s especially confusing when there is a drive-in which operated under multiple identities, or multiple drive-ins clustered together such as the Martin, Georgia, and Smyrna drive-ins.

Just to clarify, the Georgia Drive-In was also known as the Marietta Drive-In.

The Smyrna Drive-In was also known as the Fair Oaks Drive-In.

The Martin Drive-In was also in Marietta, but was only known as Martin Drive-In.

Raymond, does all of that information work for you?

raymondstewart on February 7, 2011 at 1:56 pm

The Atlanta Rd location was the Smyrna/Fair Oaks, the Cobb Pkwy was the Georgia and the Roswell Rd was the Martin. Some of the equipment from when the Martin closed was stored at the base of the screen at the Smyrna, where it sat until the Smyrna closed.

NYozoner on February 5, 2011 at 8:15 pm

I found three drive-ins on in the Marietta/Fair Oaks area.

Atlanta Rd SE & Coggins Dr S E, Smyrna, GA 30080, this drive-in was south of the airport.

Cobb Pkwy SE & Polytechnic Ln, Marietta, GA 30060, this drive-in is now a parking lot used by Southern Polytechnic State University.

1425 Roswell Rd, Marietta, GA 30062, this drive-in is now a shopping plaza.

It’s hard to put a name to these drive-ins without being from the area of having access to newspaper ads. Maybe one of you guys down in the Atlanta area can come up with some names.

karatattoo on August 10, 2010 at 11:55 am

I only ever knew it as the Martin Drive-In. My earliest recollection of it is seeing “The Last Voyage” starring Robert Stack and Dorothy Malone in 1960. It is now the site of New London Shopping Center with a McDonalds in front.
The Georgia Drive-In wasn’t too far away at the intersection of HWY 41 and Clay Street, now the Marietta Parkway. It didn’t close until the late 70s/early 80s, but I’m not sure just when.
Although HWY 41 is now called Cobb Parkway, it was,at least until the mid 1970s, known as The Four Lane, and this name was on the street signs at the Roswell Road intersection.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on July 29, 2010 at 7:05 pm

Might be,I just took it from the 1956 motion picture almanac.We are aware about how they are constanly changing names,makes you not want to add a theatre.

raymondstewart on July 29, 2010 at 4:36 pm

It may be the old Georgia Drive In, situated at the corner of Hwy 41 and Marietta Parkway. Back in the 70’s it had a nice entrance right at the light but due to road widening it moved to a long driveway by Southern Tech. Last I was by there the Greyhound station was along the drive in’s old driveway. As I recall it closed in the early 80’s, but the screen stood for years while the school used it as a parking lot. Was a Martin property.