Ellis Drive-In

Highway 51,
Millington, TN 38053

500 cars

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Additional Info

Previous Names: Ellis Drive-In

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The Ellis Drive-In opened on April 21, 1955 with Alan Ladd in “Shane”. It had a capacity for 500-cars and was operated by Amelia Ellis. I know it was open till at least 1967.

Contributed by Chief Bob Jensen

Recent comments (view all 4 comments)

Iceberg on October 11, 2017 at 2:44 pm

I think the Ellis Drive In was open earlier than 1960. I think it was around in the mid-50’s. I also thought that it was the same drive-in that was later, sometime in the mid-60’s, renamed as the 51 Drive-in. Maybe the Ellis closed and the 51 was a whole new thing in a new location in Millington, but I thought it was the same thing.

rivest266 on August 13, 2021 at 5:12 am

The Ellis Drive-In opened on April 21st, 1955, on Highway 51 South with “Shane”. Grand opening ad posted.

Kenmore on August 13, 2021 at 6:40 am

A 1956 aerial shows a drive-in in the same location what would be the 51 Twin Drive-In.

If the 51 Drive-In did not open until the late 1960s, then it seems reasonable that it and the Ellis Drive-In are the same.

MichaelKilgore on March 7, 2024 at 4:20 pm

Motion Picture Herald, Feb. 12, 1955: “Amelia Ellis, who operates the Mason theatre at Mason, Tenn., and Frayser drive-in at Memphis, is now building a new drive-in at Millington, Tenn., 18 miles north of Memphis. Millington is the location of the Navy base with around 16,000 men enrolled in its schools, hospital and air wing.”

Motion Picture Exhibitor, May 11, 1955: “Amelia Ellis has opened her new Ellis Drive-In, Millington, Tenn., equipped for 400 cars. She has a 90-foot screen for VistaVision and Cinemascope.”

Motion Picture Exhibitor, Nov. 6, 1963: “Howard Nicholson, former manager (of the Memphis Paramount exchange), resigned to operate Ellis Drive-In, Millington, Tenn.”

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