I’m not hip enough, or possibly social enough, to be on Facebook, but I know lots of people are. A group has gathered there to work to preserve the historic (and very cool) Beverly Drive-In Theater, Hattiesburg’s icon of cheeseburgers, bobby socks, greased hair, Studebakers, and . . . well, it’s probably best not to dwell on some of the other past-times that took place there.
The Beverly has fallen on hard times, especially after damage from Hurricane Katrina in 2005. It was listed on the Mississippi Heritage Trust’s 10 Most Endangered List in 2007. Here’s an excerpt from MHT’s listing for the Beverly:
The Beverly, first opened on May 29th, 1948, was the second drive-in theater to open in the state of Mississippi. One of the more unique features about the theater is that the owners’ residence – a three bedroom, two bathroom house with a sun porch – was built beneath the main screen. In addition to two full-size screens, the complex houses a concession stand/projection room and a drive-through box office.
. . .
Since the hurricane, little has been done to repair the site. Water infiltration has damaged the interiors of the complex, and the owner has neither the finances nor the willingness to venture forward. With a startling 96% of Mississippi’s drive-in theaters having been closed, the importance of preserving and restoring this site could not be more evident. The property is currently for sale, either for restoration or redevelopment.
So if you’re on Facebook, join the crowd and do what you can to Save the Beverly!