Hull's Drive-In Movie Theatre
* The Nation's First Community-Owned,
Non-Profit Classic Drive-In Movie Theatre!
Movies & Memories Since 1950!
2367 N. Lee Highway, Lexington, Virginia 24450
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 1, Lexington, Virginia 24450
Admin. Office: (540) 463-2618 Movie-Line # (540) 463-2621
The History of Hull's Drive-In Theatre
Hull's Drive-In theatre was built by W. C. Atkins in 1950 on land leased from The Hostetter Family and was originally named ' The Lee Drive-In Theatre.
On opening night Saturday, August 5th, 1950 the drive-in screened its very first movie ' The Wake of The Red Witch' starring John Wayne. The original admission price was $1.00 per carload! In 1957, Mr. Sebert W. Hull purchased the business and lease and operated the family-friendly drive-in supported by a diverse and loyal following until he passed away in 1998. Mrs. Hull sold the business to W. D. Goad whose body shop is adjacent to the drive-in on Route 11 North of Lexington.
Thousands of movie fans were thrilled when Mr. Goad kept the drive-in going that summer, much the way Mr. Hull had all the years before. The following season, 1999, the high cost of needed technical improvements and upgrades required by the movie industry discouraged Mr. Goad from keeping the drive-in going. That summer after only one movie being screened Mr. Goad searched for a buyer who could not only fund the necessary upgrades but also run the business in the affordable, family-friendly way of Mr. Hull.
The closing of Hull's Drive-In was a great disappointment to many movie-goers, including area couple Eric & Elise Sheffield. In June of 1999, two months after the drive-in failed to open, they convened a public meeting of more than fifty concerned fans. Coming from all walks of life, this group found common ground in their fondness for Mr. Hull, and their love of his outdoor theatre. They quickly resolved to form a non-profit organization called 'Hull's Angels'-dedicated to finding a way to re-open the drive-in theatre.
In December of 2000, The IRS approved the 501(c) (3) tax-except status of Hull's Angels-making them the first non-profit drive-in theatre in the country!
After a grass-roots effort of community support, The Hull's Angels raised over $75,000 dollars for the purchase and upgrade of Hull's Drive-In and in May of 2001, finalized purchase of the business and lease from Mr. Goad-reopening Hull's Drive-In Theatre under their guidance. Some felt saving Hull's Drive-In might have been a difficult mission. Ironically, the first movie screened that year was 'Mission Impossible' starring Tom Cruise!
Hull's Drive-In Theatre employees (1964)
Mr. Sebert W. Hull, Hull's Drive-In
Hull's Drive-In Theatre -NOW !!
* Photo courtesy of Mr. John Scott