7540 S. Calhoun Hwy
Mount Zion, WV 26151
Mt. Zion Drive-in on Facebook
The 190-car Mt. Zion Drive-in Theatre opened June 1, 1952 as Cook’s Drive-in, operated by John and Helen Cook. Opening week featured two-night showings of several second-run films, beginning with Doris Day’s 1950 musical Tea for Two. Admission was free for children and 50 cents for adults. Cook’s, which as originally listed as being in nearby Grantsville but was soon considered part of Mount Zion, was renamed the Mt. Zion Drive-in during the late 1950s. During the Cinemascope era, the drive-in’s screen was widened accordingly through “wings” on the sides. Aside from films, people often flocked to the theater to see touring bluegrass and country musicians (including Flatt & Scruggs and the Stanley Brothers), who performed concerts atop the projection booth. From 1979 on, the Mt. Zion has been owned by Marshall and Virginia Bever.
In 2015, the Mt. Zion Drive-in did not open for the season – due to that being the first year major movie studios only released films digitally. The owners had attempted to raise $75,000 for digital projection equipment, but they were not successful. During the 2015 and 2016 seasons, the drive-in’s snack bar remained open as a fast food restaurant, with hopes that the Mt. Zion could eventually reopen. As of 2017, although it was closed, the property was still intact.
Photo Credit: Mt. Zion Drive-in’s Facebook page