Smartin', Missing the Martin

I relocated to Marietta, GA, a northwestern suburb of Atlanta, in 1974. One of the first things I did in anticipation of the move was to discover all of the motion picture theatres in the area. There were three drive-ins operated by Martin Theatres, plus five or six assorted hardtops. If my memory is correct, the first film I saw in Marietta was Mel Brooks' "Blazing Saddles" on its opening day in '74. The comedy was showing inside the Town & Country on Roswell Rd., near U.S. 41.

It wasn't until recently that I learned there had been another drive-in theatre, Martin's Martin on Roswell Rd. This vintage photograph may have been snapped as early as Sept. 1955 when the feature attraction, "My Sister Eileen" with Janet Leigh, Jack Lemmon, and Betty Garrett, was released.

By the time I arrived in town, the Martin Drive-in had been demolished and redeveloped into the New London Square Shopping Center, which exists to this day, as seen in the color images I shot along the busy, expanded five-lane thoroughfare in April.

Ironically, the left edge of the Martin Drive-in's real estate was adjacent to the auditorium where I viewed "Blazing Saddles."

Here's another irony involving this property, previously unknown to us.

My Sister EileenBlazing Saddles [Blu-ray]
My wife and I have been long-time customers at the health food market situated along the bottom of the old drive-in's amphitheatre. I love their vegan-buttered popcorn, vegan corn dogs, Vegan Duds, and a large barrel-sized Tofu Diet Sprite.

Children under 12 admitted free.

I also shop in my jammies, in case I get sleepy before it's over.

Martin Drive-in photo via Chicken Fat; color shots by Mike Durrett, 2011.

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