Burchfield Drive-In

9233 Oak Ridge Highway,
Solway, TN 37830

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Burchfield Drive-In

The Burchfield Drive-In was located in the small Knox County community of Solway, which is right across the Clinch River from Oak Ridge. It was opened around 1953/1954, and according to an article in The Oak Ridger, the Burchfield Drive-In was run by W.J. Hatfield who operated the Skyway Drive-In and Elza Drive-In in Oak Ridge.

The history of the Burchfield Drive-In is quite interesting as it currently sits as the bottom of the Clinch River. It operated until the early-1960’s when the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) began construction of the Melton Hill Dam. With the completion of the dam in 1963, the Burchfield Drive-In sat on land that was subsequently flooded as part of the TVA project. Even today when the water level of the Clinch River gets low, one can seen the remains of the drive-in, including the concession stand.

Contributed by Bob Brown, Mike Tulay

Recent comments (view all 3 comments)

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on January 23, 2011 at 10:04 pm

Yes,Bob I have no mention of the BIRCHFIELD Drive-in in my 1956 Motion Picture Almanac,so bet it was closed way before 1963.Thanks for finding the BIRCHFIELD.

NYozoner on November 28, 2014 at 9:38 am

The name of the road near the bridge is Burchfield Road, therefore it is very likely that the name of the drive-in would have been the Burchfield Drive-In, and not Birchfield. A historical newspaper ad would clear that up, if anyone can dig one up from 1950-54.

tntim on May 3, 2018 at 8:14 pm

I have posted aerial photos from 1959 and 1969 in the photo section.

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