Hardy Family Automotive Group is celebrating its 35th year of business and plans to recreate the drive-in experience for the community by showing a free movie Sept. 14, said customer and community relations director Natalie Higgins.
“We have been wanting to do one for a while,” she said.
Dealership officials plan to clear all the cars off the Chevrolet, Buick and GMC lot and put up a 55-foot screen exactly where the Judean screen stood. The lot will open at 6 p.m. for the movie with first-come, first-serve parking with about 300 spots to park. There will also be a place for general seating in front of the screen.
The event is free, but concessions, offered by the Varsity, will be available for sale on a cash-only basis. Varsity food and drink will be available from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.
Hardy plans to show “Cars 2” starting at 8:30 p.m., Higgins said.
“We wanted a good family movie,” she said.
Higgins said the event is not about generating sales for the dealership.
“We like to have community events to give back to the community,” she said.
They will not be using the original speaker system the Judean used to display the sound. Instead, they will use an FM radio signal transmitter so attendees can tune their radios to a frequency playing the movie audio.
The Hardy family purchased the former drive-in site at the corner of Macland Road and Marietta Highway to build the car dealership. They bought it from distant cousins Judy and Dean Hardy, for whom the theater was named.
The Judean opened May 16, 1956, and showed a movie on the drive-in’s screen every night of the week. Back then they could hold 450 cars.
The theater was a wedding gift to Judy and Dean from her father, Wendell Welch, the original owner of the Dallas Theater.
For more information about the event visit facebook.com/ hardy chevybuickgmc.