The Executive Director Transition

Hull’s Drive-In

PO Box 1

Lexington, VA 24450




Hull’s Drive-In, the nation’s first non-profit community owned drive-in movie theater, has announced that Bobbie Wagner will take over as the new Executive Director of Hull’s Angels Inc. effective July 1st, succeeding Lauren Summers, as she retires from her role managing the business aspects of this community treasure in Lexington, Virginia.


“We are excited for Bobbie to join Hull’s and continue the work that Lauren has done. This organization is so fortunate to have both these amazing people lead this community treasure, ” stated Liz Schmidt, Board Chair of Hull’s Angels.


Bobbie Wagner’s background as an Executive Director, combined with a deep passion for helping organizations and people thrive, will further advance the mission of Hull’s Drive-In. She brings a magnitude of perspective and experience around business development, fundraising, community outreach, communications, and strategic operations. Originally from Alleghany County, she has resided in Rockbridge County for 7 years. Bobbie has a Master’s Degree in Recreation Administration with a focus on non-profit management. She obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Recreation, Parks and Tourism with a focus on special events, tourism and recreation administration. She recently concluded more than a decade of exceptional service with YMCA of Virginia’s Blue Ridge, having 7 years served at the Rockbridge Area YMCA. Throughout her tenure, the local YMCA experienced immense growth in all areas (wellness, childcare, membership, youth sports, etc.) and even launched an early learning center locally. Charitable giving, expanded operations and community outreach were at an all time high, under her leadership. During the pandemic Bobbie served as a key leader providing wellness programming and emergency childcare. Enrichment centers for children were launched, during school closures in places such as churches, a hotel and even a local restaurant. Since her time in Rockbridge County, Bobbie has been heavily involved in local organizations, coalitions and initiatives. She currently serves on the Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors as Past President. “I grew up going to the drive-in as a kid, so being able to serve as the incoming Executive Director of Hull’s is pretty nostalgic for me. We are lucky to have such a special place right here in our backyard,” Bobbie shared. “I am looking forward to working alongside the local board to fulfill present and future goals of the organization. We want to ensure this iconic venue is operating for present and future generations to enjoy!”


Lauren Summers joined Hull’s Angels in 2018 as the Executive Director, having never managed the business operation of a theater before. However, she brought a depth and breadth of business and marketing experience from her former career to the organization. When the COVID-19 pandemic struck in 2020, with Lauren at the helm Hull’s was able to navigate the confusing and treacherous guidance for businesses to operate. After a brief shutdown, she worked closely with the Theater Manager (Christian Reter) to adapt processes to allow the drive-in to still be available to the most valuable resource, the customers. Hull’s also collaborated with other local businesses and organizations to utilize the drive-in in new and innovative ways.  The theater was host to broadcasts of local ceremonies and performances when indoor crowds were not allowed due to the public health concerns.  Hull’s hosted several local high school graduations as well as 3 vaccination clinics. Lauren’s leadership kept the theater alive through one of the most difficult times imaginable. In September of 2020 Hull’s was faced with another challenging hurdle, as they were given first right of refusal to purchase the land the theater sits on or it was to be offered up for public sale for commercial development.  Lauren worked closely with the Capital Campaign Committee to lead Hull’s Angels through a demanding fundraising effort to secure the property. Thanks to our amazing supporters and over 1,000 capital campaign donors, Hull’s was able to purchase the property in October 2021 with only a very minimal mortgage to cover the delta between the capital campaign fundraising and the purchase price. Lauren’s attention to detail throughout the capital campaign was paramount to the success and ultimately to the property purchase. Kevin Merrill, Vice-Chair of Hull’s Angels shared, “To say that Lauren will be missed as she ventures into this next phase of her life would be an enormous understatement.”


Hull’s would also like to congratulate Mr. David Natkin on his retirement. David has served as Hull’s Registered Agent with the state of Virginia for 23 years and the leadership is eternally grateful for his support throughout the years.


Hull’s Drive-in was originally built in 1950 by the Atkins family and was called the ‘Lee Drive-In,’ as it sat directly on the Shenandoah Valley’s main north-south corridor, Route 11 or Lee Highway.  In 1957, it was bought by Seibert & Effie Hull who operated the drive-in until Mr. Hull’s death in 1998.  With immense upgrades and equipment required to keep it operating, the drive-in was shuttered in 1999. Seeing this community treasure closed, a group of incredibly hard working local citizens created ‘Hulls Angels, Inc’, America’s very first community-owned-and-operated 501(c)(3) non-profit drive-in to keep the tradition alive. They were able to raise the funds to purchase the business and show one movie in 1999 so that Hull’s could maintain the legacy of continuous operation since opening in 1950.  Hull’s Angels consists of a Board of Directors of local community members, an Executive Director, a Theater Manager and seasonal concession stand workers. Hull’s plays first-run box office releases using state of the art digital projection, while continuing to provide audio via our retro speaker poles, as well as broadcasting all audio on FM 88.1Mhz. The concession stand offers a wide variety of fresh prepared savory and sweet food options to their customers, along with the traditional hot popcorn and cold refreshing drinks.



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