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Pipestem Drive-In

location WV 20 north of Athens, W.Va., near Pipestem State Park
telephone (304) 384-7382
year opened 1972
capacity 285 cars
booking policy double features
sound radio, speakers
other features digital projection
admission Fri-Sat: $6, children 4-10 $2; Sun: $12 per carload
operating season April-October (Fri thru Sun only)
website Facebook page (official)


What's Playing
click on a title for info
TITLES & TIMES SUBJECT TO CHANGE

FRIDAY-SUNDAY, AUGUST 29-31:
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Into the Storm


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"Hi, my family owns Pipestem Drive-In Theater. They have added radio, along with the speaker option. So, there are now two means of listening to the movie. Bring your lawn chairs, set up in the bed of the truck and have a grand old time. Both the kids and the mutt (yes, lots of folks bring the dog, too, so long as he's friendly!) get a treat at the ticket booth upon entry. So, come join us for a good evening of family entertainment and fun!!"   -- Karen L. Woody

Rate/comment on this drive-in
If you've been to the Pipestem and would like to share your opinions, click here.

Average rating: 4.41 (75 votes)
  "I love this place. I don't get to go as much as I would like to. They are pet friendly and that makes it a plus for me. The pizza and popcorn are great and my husband can even take a snooze. I have never seen anyone get out of hand or be too loud. See if that happens at a walk-in. Plus their floors are sticky. Remember, if you are going to a drive-in make sure you have a car."  5 -- sheila
  "We love going to this drive-in. We have four children from infants to teenagers so we normally go on Sundays because of the rate! They love it! It's great for just couples too."  4 -- Heidi
  "Wouldn't change a thing!! I have been going for years, and have been taking my kids as well. I hope that you will remain as you are for many years to come!!"  5 -- Kim
  "Well, first off I know this won't get posted. It's not like you guys care about what we as customers think anyways. That's been proven by the lack of updated posts on here and the poor quality of your drive-in lately. So I'll feel good anyways that you know how a lot of us feel out here, u know... the ones that pay your bills?? Anyways, first off, don't say you open in April and close in Oct, when it's really late may or whenever you feel like working. 2... Your poor choices in selecting movies for us to watch, all this year so far are movie busts or second rate. The reason? It's cheaper for you and puts more bucks into your pockets. Have you saw your cars coming into your movies being less and less?? I have! 3... do u really have to charge an arm and leg for 3rd class frozen food? Cut it down 25 percent and you're still making a killing! 4... Have the old man taking up money quit talking to every tom, dick, and Harry for 10 mins... to help speed up things, You know, like a real drive-in. 5... same goes for the lazy ladies in the kitchen, QUIT TALKING SO MUCH! More serving and getting food out faster. I sat in line for 35 mins or more 3 times this year. In short, get your act together or sell the darn place to someone who really cares! Thank you for reading. "  1 -- Bob Jenkins
  "Enjoy going. Think they close way too early in the season. Used to be in October but now it's early September."  4 -- leila
  "I have enjoyed this drive-in for many years! I am hoping it will stay open for years to come! It is a very comfortable and relaxed atmosphere. I hope you consider the new digital equipment in the near future as I hear that C'sburg has it this year! Please stay open further into September this year! Thanks a lot!"  5 -- B. Law
  "This drive-in is very nice. I went for the first time last weekend. Everything was so clean and the staff was very friendly. Me and my husband plan to return shortly."  5 -- Jill
  "I am so glad that Pipestem Drive-In is still open. I remember going to the drive-ins as a kid. I think this is a great place and a great way to spend an evening with family and/or friends! Concession area is clean and the restrooms also. People are friendly and the prices are affordable. Keep up the good work and thanks for keeping this place going!"  5 -- Vicky
  "I had my very first 'Drive-In Experience' just last weekend here. I wish that I had been able to come to this place much sooner. I had the BEST time. The whole atmosphere was wonderful. Going again as much as possible! Keep up the GREAT work and THANKS!"  5 -- Yehkive
  "This drive-in has been here all my life. It is so few and far between to find an operating drive-in. Thank you for keeping this alive!"  5 -- debbie dunn
  "Enjoyed the drive-in experience last weekend with my husband and daughter. We had a great time, the food was good, the movie was great. We would definitely return. Thanks!"  5 -- FunFam
  "Always enjoy going to the drive-in!"  5 -- Liz
  "What's playing this weekend?"  5 -- JAY
  "We're there almost every year on vacation and we love the drive-in."  5 -- April
  "Just curious if you guys were affected by the wind storm last night. We love the venue & planned to come out tonight. Hope to see you there!!"  5 -- Yvonne W
  "So glad summer has returned. Drive-in every weekend... The staff are so nice, the atmosphere is great."  5 -- dawn
  "I absolutely LOVE the Pipestem Drive-In Theater! Getting to relax in your own vehicle or outside in the bed of our truck is a thousand times more enjoyable than any indoor theater. We Always get in line to get our food Before the movie(s) begin - that way we don't miss the movie. I don't understand why ppl fuss for missing the movie due to waiting in line. Go before the movies start -- Duh. The girls behind the counter are awesome and work their booties off. They are incredibly friendly and always personable. We have been going for years...almost every wkend. LOVE IT!"  5 -- MegM
  "Best place in the world for fun, good food and good movies."  5 -- KSTT
  "I went in 1989 with my mom to see What About Bob. It was my very first drive-in experience. I remember the food was great and it was a fun experience. My husband and I are coming up next month for a family reunion and I am excited to go back."  5 -- Lynn
  "I love going to the drive-in with friends and family. I enjoy every year coming to the drive-in 'to get away from it all'. Hope to see y'all soon."  5 -- Kt
  "Have to say it's a great place to go and spend a evening. Everyone is friendly and the prices are not out of reason like most movie houses."  4 -- James Curran
  "take my grandkids there every summer //what great memories///cheap prices//lots of good food//please don't ever close...let's hold on to one old tradition...thanks again"  5 -- vickey
  "When do u open this season?"  3 -- Melissa - Herndon WV
  "Went there summer 2011, had a great time! So much better than an indoor movie!! Plan to go again this year, just wish I lived closer so my family could enjoy it more throughout the summer!"  5 -- Beth
  "Our family comes here several times each summer and have a great experience!! People are friendly. Really makes me feel like I'm a kid again in the back of mom and dad's station wagon. BUT- they need to figure out a better way to serve pizza. There's only one little oven and you wait 10- 15 min. When you have to go back and forth too much it's a hassle. Also, can we put in a small play ground?? Early birds with kids need something for them to do!! But keep up the good work."  4 -- Thomas
  "Hi, what gives, waited in line for what seemed like hours just to get a cold pizza, missed half the movie, bummer. When I was half way done with the cardboard pizza I found a hair, small and curly on the bottom of the lid, I know it wasn't mine, hadn't had any hair since 1968. Yurk I wonder if the old goat had any thing to do with it. Maybe that rating that's posted was a pay off, Bad times, bad times. Good movie for the little I saw."  1 -- Todd Barnes
  "My son and I visited on July 30th and we had a wonderful time. It brought so many memories back from my teenage years and going to Skyway and Starland. My son is 35 and we talked about how he saw Star Wars at Skyway when he was just a child. The drive-in is well maintained, food was delicious and everyone was very friendly."  5 -- Brenda
  "What a picture show! Being from the great white north, Canada for you southerners! This place is a classic. The wife and I may just retire here at Pipestem. These United States are great. Love you Guys."  5 -- Keith Annas
  "Sometimes ya gotta say hmmmm? Great drive-in, and great movie. Never stuck my nose in anybody's business and went home and enjoyed a good nights sleep. Ya know food is a drug and I bet yur ass shows signs of an addiction Miss Busybody."  5 -- Puff N Pass
  "Very nice and clean for a Drive-In. Food was great... pizza is the best in the tri-state area. Hamburgers were out of this world, greasy just the way I like them!! The prices are very fair, THANKS! The ladies behind the counter are very friendly and prepare the food as you ask.... A big thank you ladies! I do wish the sound quality was better, it was in and out a lot. Good times... Good times!"  5 -- H.M.
  "Hi, as a long time customer, I don't care about how others think your food is, I want you to know you're working those two ladies behind the counter to death. I waited in line just to get a hamburger and a diet Pepsi. They need another person behind the counter to help on serving. Maybe that old goat who's spending all his time talking about who is sleeping with who and what is happening in the next county should be helping these ladies. I know I missed almost half of the movie waiting in line. Pitiful."  2 -- Charlie Singleton
  "A way of life since I moved here to be with my husband in 1978. Brought our kids, brought our dogs, stuffed our faces, and then got to watch movies, too! Thank you for all the beautiful memories for our family - and now the next generation is doing the same. No sit-down theatre can compare. I wish everyone in America had a place like this to experience the best entertainment money can buy!!!"  5 -- Angie
  "Great family fun! I brought my pet hogs along, the local kids loved them!! My hogs are well behaved, like dogs. The hogs loved the hotdogs, popcorn too! My wife Susan also loves your pizza. People this is a must... please come and join in. Oh... and Bob Denver was at Pipestem more than once. I once saw him and Alan Hale there back in the early 70's. A fact. See ya soon and pig suey!!!"  5 -- Paul Neal
[NOTE: OK, it's been fun, but time to halt the comments from "TV Land" (see below) before they completely take over this section (unless someone sends in something really funny). And folks, you did know that the real Bob Denver lived nearby in Princeton, WV after retiring from showbiz, right? Wonder if he ever went to the Pipestem...]
  "Hi, after looking at the backside of beef for a few months me and my Boss Mr. Favor, and our co-wokers Hey Soos, Wishbone and Mushy decided to try your drive-in out. Greatest thing since a cattledrive. The staff was kind and friendly, especially the ladies, and the food was the best ever. Even though Wishbone complained it wasn't like cooking in a dutch oven over an open fire pit. Hey Soos said he would hang them high (what ever that means) for the hotdogs. Mr. Favor really like the popcorn, he said you can't get this out west nor the butter. The only thing that would improve it that I can suggest is show some old black and white westerns, they had some great actors back then. Everything else is great -- head them up and move them out!"  5 -- Rowdy Yates
  "Just wanted you to know, a few weeks ago myself and several of my friends took a break traveling and dropped by. Skipper, Mary Ann, the professor, the movie star all thought your place was awesome. Sitting back and watching the movie was like being on an island lost in time. Thurston Howell III and his wife Lovie couldn't get enough of your hot dogs. At one point on returning to our boat we thought we might have to stop by the hospital and have their stomach pumped out. But all came out well by the next day. Your staff was super nice and your place was like shelter from the storm. Oh yes, Ginger loved your show but she didn't recognize any of the actors. Keep up the great work."  5 -- Bob Denver
  "LOVE THIS PLACE!!!!!"  4 -- Bella
  "Just wanted to drop you a line to tell you how super your place is. Food was out of this world. Hot dogs were like they were created in another world. You know truth, justice, and the American way is one thing, but nothing can beat your dogs. I gobbled down three of them faster than a speeding bullet. All I can say about your place is SUPER, SUPER, SUPER."  5 -- Chris Reeves
  "Just wanted to drop you a few lines to tell you how wonderful your place is. When entering your establishment it's like entering a new dimension of sight and sound. A place where only your imagination would take you. The staff is out of this world and the food is beyond description. You have brought joy and happiness into my twilight years. Thanks for the memories."  5 -- Rod Sterling
  "Since moving from Nevada I've been to your drive-in several times. It's great, my sons really enjoy the great food. Little Joe can't get enough of your pizza and Hoss, he eats everything. Adam loves your popcorn, but your prices are a little steep feeding this family. I might have to sell more water rights from the Ponderosa. I'm looking forward to turn the boys loose and sit back and watch a good western movie. Good Times!!"  4 -- Ben Cartwright
  "What a place!!! The Boss and I go there whenever the Boars Nest gets rowdy on the weekends. Enos brings Daisy whenever the Boss and I don't go. If those darn Duke boys would behave I could go more often! This sure does beat Hazzard county!!!!!"  5 -- James Best
  "As a retired peace officer from Kansas I find living in WV fantastic. Your drive-in fits into my limited life style. My girfriend Kitty also enjoys the great movie opportunties you show. She really likes your hot dogs. When ever I get homesick for Dodge City and my friends I just drop by, watch agood movie and realize how blessed I am. My only regret is that Chester is not here with me to enjoy the movie and good food. Thanks for the memories."  5 -- Matt Dillion
  "LOVE that there's still some old-fashioned fun in Southern West Virginia. I love visiting the drive-in, it's always a pleasant experience! Not to mention the flea market on Sundays!!!"  5 -- Samantha
  "Was very pleased with the food, pizza was good. Popcorn a little too much liquid butter, very messy! Good service. Soap powders to wash your hands with? Never saw that before. Some liquid soap would be nice. Nice people, WV is a very friendly place!!!"  4 -- Matt "D"
  "A-1! The best drive-in east of San francisco! A western taste to it! Yours truly, have film... will travel"  5 -- Richard Boone
  "The perfect place for kids!! My wife Tammy and I take our little boyscouts every weekend during the summer. Tammy is from Michigan and loves the country setting!! We wish they would put a new condom machine in bathroom, we dont need any more kids! But everything else is great fun!! Thanks, Richard and Tammy Annas... Michigan born, West Virginia is our home!!!"  5 -- Richard Annas
  "I bring all my girl friends here, it's awesome. Brings back all the old days experience. My dear friend Todd S. loves it too. Can't wait till it opens again for next season."  5 -- Roger H.
  "Brings back that yesteryear feeling!! A mason friend of mine told me about the drive-in. Richard A. and I watch movies there all the time, his wife Frances also loves the country feel of things. I know it's great family fun! See ya there soon, Richard and Frances, Stump family."  4 -- Benny Stump
  "I have been going to Pipestem Drive-In since I was a small child. I loved it then and I love it now. Now it is my turn to take my children to experience one of the best memories I have!"  5 -- Christina/Bluefield
  "We have been going to this drive-in for years and we love it!!! We have three children and they all love going. I couldn't ask for any nicer people that run the place. This is just a wonderful time and a memory maker :D"  5 -- Tracy W
  "I've lived here all my life and I love Pipestem Drive-In. It is the only way my hubby and I get to enjoy a movie with our 2 young sons nowadays. The food is good, the movies are current and it is an experience not to be missed. It is a great deal for a fun family night out."  5 -- Jessica
  "My kids love it, I had no problem, the food was good and the people were nice, bathrooms were clean and everything. I enjoyed my trip there!!"  5 -- jepordy
  "This is the only drive-in we have been to, but I can't imagine the experience could be any better at a different one. The staff members are extremely friendly and the food is wonderful (and affordable!). The facilities are always clean and in working order and that is of great importance to us, especially with a small child. We haven't been to the indoor theater in almost eight years - it's just so much more fun at the drive-in!"  5 -- Rob & Karen
  "My husband and I come from Tazewell to the drive-in every summer, we love it!!! The food is wonderful, especially the pizza."  5 -- karen
  "I went my first time last weekend and it was great. The speakers were a little different but...the popcorn and soda was great!! I would tell everyone to go there who have kids, it is cheap and a great picture to watch."  5 -- jepordy
  "I enjoy coming to the movies. It is the cheapest entertainment you can get for a family. The only complaint I have is that you can not hear the movie very well due to the static from the speakers. I hope it is fixed before the season is over."  4 -- Ellen
  "Like others have mentioned. Listening to the movies via car radio would be great. Please consider checking into. Thanks and keep up the great work."  4 -- Tracy
  "THIS IS AN EXCELLENT PLACE TO TAKE YOUR FAMILY...MY KIDS LOVE IT AND LOOK FORWARD TO GOING EVERY SUMMER...WE HAVE NEVER HAD ANYTHING LESS THAN AN EXCELLENT TIME...WE ARE LOOKING FORWARD TO THE NEW 2009 SEASON.."  4 -- SHERRI
  "I love the drive-in, it is a wonderful experience for all ages. I read the comments and it troubles me that someone like missy would be so hard on the drive-in. It's not the drive-in's fault that she had a bad night. They can not accuse someone without catching them in the act, they are not police officers. She could have moved to another spot. I have had to move for someone making too much noise, bad lang. or smoking. You will always have problems here and there when going out in the public. We do not have a perfect world. Not saying that what happened is o-kay, because IT IS NOT OKAY TO USE DRUGS. But you have to realize what people can and cannot do within the law. I'll cont. to bring my family and enjoy the great food and great prices. I cannot say enough about the great time that we have and I would like to say thank you for keeping it going and to the staff for the friendly service that they give with every bag of popcorn and soda that they hand out.
  "It's always a smile. Keep the good times alive with the drive-in."  5
-- Cricket
  "I WENT TO THE DRIVE-IN ON 8/10/08 TO ENJOY A MOVIE WITH MY FAMILY. HOWEVER, I REALLY DID NOT ENJOY THE MOVIE BECAUSE THERE WAS SOMEONE VERY CLOSE TO US THAT WAS SMOKING MARIJUANA. I WENT TO THE CONCESSION STAND AND COMPLAINED AND SHE SAID THAT SHE WOULD LET SOMEONE KNOW. I THEN WENT BACK TO MY TRUCK AND STARTED WATCHING THE FIRST MOVIE WHICH I HAD MISSED THE FIRST 5 MINUTES OF. I THEN DID NOT SMELL IT AGAIN UNTIL THE SECOND MOVIE. BEFORE THE SECOND MOVIE HAD STARTED WE SMELLED IT AGAIN AFTER WATCHING THEM ROLL A JOINT RIGHT IN FRONT OF US. I WENT TO COMPLAIN AGAIN AND A DIFFERENT LADY CALLED THE MANAGER AND WAS TOLD THAT HE WOULD BE RIGHT THERE. AFTER WAITING ABOUT 5 MINUTES MORE AND THE SECOND MOVIE STARTING, I TOLD THE LADY THAT I HAD TO LEAVE BECAUSE THE MOVIE HAD STARTED AND I WAS MISSING IT. I TOLD HER EXACTLY WHERE I WAS PARKED AND SHE SAID HE WOULD BE OUT TO TALK TO ME. (IT WOULD HAVE BEEN EASY TO FIND ME BECAUSE THE ROW I WAS IN WAS NOT CROWDED) YOU KNOW I WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN UPSET ABOUT THE WHOLE THING IF SOMETHING WOULD HAVE BEEN DONE. I HAD MY 13-WEEK-OLD GRANDSON WITH ME AND HE CERTAINLY DID NOT NEED TO SMELL IT. ALSO, MY DAUGHTER-IN-LAW WAS HAVING A DRUG SCREEN THE NEXT DAY. THIS IS SUPPOSED TO BE A FAMILY PLACE OF BUSINESS. THE NEXT TIME I WILL CALL THE POLICE MYSELF AND INTERRUPT THE MOVIE FOR A DRUG SEARCH."  1 -- missy m
  "My wife and I grew up going to drive-ins like the Skyway in Brushfork, and Pipestem Drive-In, and we first took our daughter to Pipestem when she was just weeks old. There is always a great feeling of nostalgia when I go to 'the Pipe'. In light of the closings of so many of the great drive-ins that once speckled the countryside, Pipestem is a true gem that has held on to a beloved piece of Americana, for a younger generation to cherish, and for an older one to relive. Oh yeah, the food ain't half bad either. Pipestem Drive-in has some of the best pizza in the area. It's a darn shame that the concession stand doesn't open for lunch during the week."  5 -- Billy
  "I have been to numerous drive-ins and this one is by far the best when it comes to cleanliness and food. I have only 2 recommendations... One: list more than one week's worth of movies on your site (as stated by someone previously). Two: One other theatre allowed you to listen to the movie via their local radio station... perhaps you could consider a similar option. It is truly helpful on nights when it is very cold, when you are having trouble hearing the movie but don't want to turn up the speaker because you're afraid the volume might deafen the person who is directly beside the speaker AND when Mother Nature decides to send us rain in the middle of a very good movie."  4 -- J
  "Overall a good drive-in and not a bad price especially if you wanted to see both movies, or have kids that need to move around or want to go to sleep."  4 -- Jeff Hall
  "I love the drive-in! It beats being confined to the uncomfy seats of most theaters. Plus you also get a nice view if you decide you'd rather watch the sky. Hehe :) Thanks"  5 -- Gen
  "This is great for couples and families alike. The staff are always wonderful, the concession area is kept clean and the food is reasonably priced and tastes great too! I just wish they could stay open during the week in the summer and not just the weekends! It's much more affordable than other options. I would love to see drive-in movies make a real comeback and start popping up everywhere!"  5 -- Sheila
  "Small Town Area with friendly people. Good food, plan on eating there! Holidays usually host three movies. I've been going since I moved to WV in 1970. It's an experience every child should have!"  5 -- Mary McKinney
  "The staff are always super friendly. My family has been going to the drive in for years, and only once the movie 'messed up' and it was fixed immediately. We love the staff and the atmosphere at Pipestem Drive In. A+"  5 -- Tanya
  "The only difference I would like to see is that you put more than 1 week of movies on your website. I would like to see 3 or 4 weeks worth of upcoming movies. Everything else is great. Thanks."  5 -- Haven Miller
  "The staff is very friendly and the place is always kept up nice. This is a great drive-in to bring your family or your special someone. Keep up the great work!"  4 -- Jeremiah
  "They have some really great food there. So if you’re running late and don't have time to stop anywhere else you can just eat there. The food is really good."  5 -- Kayla
  "I've been coming to the drive-in on and off for at least 25 years. Now I continue the tradition with my children. Great place!! Especially if your kids are the noisy kind (like mine)."  5 -- Terrisa Jennings

Click here to see a 1996 aerial photograph of the drive-in.

Click here to read a July 2002 article on the Pipestem from the Bluefield Daily Telegraph.