Man hopes to build drive-in movie theater in Rutherford County

Man hopes to build drive-in movie theater in Rutherford County (Image 1)

A Rutherford County man plans to open a new drive-in movie theater between Smyrna and Murfreesboro.

David Stansberry told Nashville's News 2 he wants to build a two-screen drive-in theater on property located at Old Nashville Highway and Florence Boulevard, the site of the old Sky Harbor Airport.

“It's framed out,” Stansberry said, pointing to an empty industrial building on the property.

He continued, “It's rectangular in shape and it's a flat, relatively flat parking area and it's wide open, we wouldn't have to remove any trees.”

Stansberry said his plan is to put enough parking spaces for 350 cars at one screen, and another 150 to 200 cars for the second screen.

He's also planning a restaurant, game room and playground for parents who bring young children.

Currently there are approximately 14 drive-in movie theaters in Tennessee. Most of them though, are refurbished drive-ins from the 60s, 70s and 80s.

“We've got some new things, one, new projectors and the digital technology. The brightness of the film and look of the screen; people want to have that experience at home but at the same time that hasn't killed the indoor theaters.” Stansberry said.

Drive-in theaters have seen resurgence in recent years. The Benjies Drive-in in Baltimore is popular and Fort Worth, Texas recently opened the Coyote Drive-in the city's downtown. Movie-goers can see a bright new screen and still see the city's skyline.

Stansberry has been traveling to as many drive-ins and possible to learn about the business and see some of the new technology.

“It'll be first run movies, the same as you get at mega-plex theaters. That's the reason we're opting for two screens instead of just one,” Stansberry explained.

He plans to open the theater in May 2014 with the release of “Godzilla.”

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