Central Drive-In

5113 Kent Junction Road,
Norton, VA 24273

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MichaelKilgore on November 27, 2017 at 7:25 pm

There’s another name that’s not mentioned often enough, it appears. The 1955-56 Theatre Catalog showed the Central in Blackwood VA, owners H. Kiser and R. Lodge, capacity 150.

The 1953-66 Motion Picture Almanacs listed the Central under Blackwood VA, owner Russell Large, capacity 150. In the 1978-88 editions, after ownership information resumed, the owner was R. Kiser, capacity 100.

Was that co-owner Large or Lodge? Historically the Catalog had fewer errors, so my guess would be Lodge. Update: Except I’m wrong. On Facebook, the reply I received was “the original owners were the Kiser family and the Large family.” It’s the rare case when the MPA was right and the Catalog wasn’t.

MichaelKilgore on November 27, 2017 at 1:44 pm

The Kingsport Times-News wrote that the Central opened “in 1952 by the Kiser family of Wise County”.

“Buddy and Paula (Herron) bought the Central in 2005 from Jeff Kiser following the death of his mother, Agnes Kiser Lay, the Kiser family’s much loved drive-in darling who operated the Central for many if not most of those years since it opened in 1952.”

Multiple reports say the Central has a very nice arcade. This YouTube video from July 2017 includes a glimpse plus some drone footage with a train passing by across the highway from the screen.

jwmovies on September 18, 2012 at 7:02 pm

Correction: Kent Junction Rd.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on November 28, 2010 at 4:37 pm

Very nice pictures.thanks guys.