Imagine a drive-in movie theater with enough space for more than 500 vehicles. Now add a restaurant, pool, go kart area and putt-putt golf. Include more than 40 camper hook ups. And put it all on 60 acres of land.
That’s what the father-son duo of Michael and Preston Brown has imagined for the past year they’ve owned the property on Battleground Avenue in Kings Mountain, N.C.
And now their plans are coming to fruition, the Shelby Star reported. The campsites themselves are open for business and the drive-in will be up and running in two months, Preston Brown said Monday. Additional features will take about a year to build or install.
“It’s been a lot of work,” he said.
And a lot of money. Preston said about $60,000 has gone into setting up the RV hook ups. Another $100,000 has gone into the drive-in.
“It’s just us,” he said of the financial backing.
The work follows months of clashes with city government about the use of the land, which borders the Kings Mountain Gateway Trail. The property is so close, in fact, that you can see the trail from the back end of the lot. (The Kings Mountain Gateway Trail is a greenway designed to connect the city of Kings Mountain to Crowders Mountain State Park, Kings Mountain State Park, Kings Mountain National Military Park, the Overmountain Victory Trail and the Appalachian Trail.)
It was September when two city councilmen spoke up against what they perceived as a delay in the elder Brown’s rezoning request for the property. Two months later, Michael Brown was served with a criminal summons after he cut down trees he said were on his property. County officials, citing the Gateway Trail’s right-of-way, said the trees were on their land.
The legal dispute is ongoing.
Preston said plans for the drive-in stem from his childhood, when he would man the Joy Performance Theater during the 12 years his dad owned it.
“I grew up there,” he said. “I loved it.”
He hopes, once completed, the campground will serve as both a spot for visitors to stay the weekend and a place for those in the community to play basketball, grab a hot dog and watch a movie.
“We want to do something for the community,” he said. “I hope it will work.”