Emory Johnson built the 411 Drive-In Theatre in 1953 at a time when drive-in theaters were booming and almost everyone could enjoy the drive-in experience because everyone had one nearby. Then, the age of television swept away most of the drive-in’s, and in the early 80’s the video craze seemed to do in the few that were still left. However, drive-in’s were not dead yet; in the mid 90’s drive-in’s started making a comeback, and some people even started building brand new ones! Some say there is just something different about the drive-in experience that keeps people coming back: pick up trucks pulled in backwards, full of lawn chairs, a boom box and laughing kids, the smell of popcorn in the air, blankets spread out on the ground while a summer blockbuster plays on the huge screen, all under the stars.
Emory Johnson re-opened the 411 Drive-In in July of 2001 with the help of his sons Rex and Carl. He was the second generation movie exhibitor, as his father Glover Johnson owned and operated the Cherokee Theatre – the first walk-in theater in Centre, AL . Emory and his father later went on to build the Emory Theatre, a walk-in also located in Centre. Emory passed away in July of 2004, but his dream lives on the 411 Drive-In.
In the summer of 2008 we decided to upgrade the 411 Drive-In by adding a new screen and the capacity to hold another 400 cars. We also built a n
ew restaurant facility to provide concession service to both screens, as well as housing our projectors on the second floor. Tearing down our old concession stand was a bit heart wrenching, but it had to be done to complete the project.
We hope to bring you the ultimate drive-in experience, don’t miss it this year!
Construction Photo Gallery