Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Home movies: the Sunset Drive-In of Shinnston, West Virginia

We're big fans of drive-in theaters, especially the slightly eccentric ones, and there's a hum-dinger in the northwestern West Virginia town of Shinnston. Not only has the Sunset Drive-In on Highway 19 been owned and run by the same family, the Ellises, since 1955, there's a home built right into the screen. Imagine that...while folks are having a night out watching the latest Judd Apatow opus, eating delicious snack bar hot dogs and snow cones in the comfort of their roadsters and coupes, someone is inside the screen watching "The Voice", eating a baloney sandwich, paying the gas bill or soaking their feet. It's a colossal structure perched just inches away from the highway, three stories tall with festively-awninged windows and a mailbox out front. The Sunset Ellis restaurant, open year round, is also on the property offering, among its many fine choices, broasted chicken and an all-you-can-eat pasta special for $5.99 on Wednesdays. It's always a delight to encounter a retro-tastic place such as this. With so many drive-ins abandoned or worse, it's a thrill to see a living breathing one still operating as if Eisenhower were president.


roadsidewonders said...

Another one from my "Big 'Ol List-O-Places To Visit". I can't wait to see it in person. Until then, I'll just stare at your pics!

Much like the silo apartment in my neck of the woods ... I'll add this to my fantasy places to live.

If I ever watch a movie here; all I'll be able to envision is someone soaking his feet and watching "The Voice" :)

Mod Betty / said...

That is Awesome! It would make a perfect Retro Roadmap HQ!

Gunnar and Sherry said...

If the Ellises ever sell this place, we should buy it and make timeshares out of it! (I call the first week of June)