“[Graham Drive In] really is something special,” J. Hawkins said. “There’s not another one in North Texas that’s a classic like this. It’s not only part of the cultural heritage of the town, but it’s also a big draw to the town. A lot of people come from out of town to visit it. It’s also a gathering place where great things happen for the community.”
Having grown up in Graham, J. said the drive in holds a special place in his heart. He said he remembers seeing virtually every major movie of his childhood there including “E.T.” and “Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark” and later movies like the Terminator series in high school.
“When Mr. Trout owned it, he would just run the movie until everybody left,” J. said with a laugh. “I remember sitting out there and watching ‘Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome’ like two-and-a-half times and he just let us hang out.”
After J. and Erin had been married for some time, they moved back to Graham about four years ago and Erin saw her first drive-in movie.
“I just loved it right away,” Erin said. “It’s relaxing, you’re sitting in your car or outside your car, it’s outdoors, it’s very comfortable. So, when the Scotts asked if we’d like to work out there, I said ‘Yes. I’m all in.’”
Pam Scott has owned the Graham Drive In for six years and she said she does not want this year to be her last. She said the drive in has become a great source of pride for the community and she appreciates all the support the community has given the theater in the years she has owned it.
“When you look at a community and things that have historical significance, it’s just important to keep those,” she said. “Those are things that are just true to your town and make it what it is. You just have to fight for those things.”