Hattiesburg loses another historic building

I’ve heard some people say they have been woken from a deep sleep only to find there was something pressing that was happening at the time of awakening.

I woke up around 4 a.m. only to learn the  Beverly Drive-In theater was engulfed in flames. It would become a total loss. The historic drive-in had seen better days, but had revived around the turn of the century. In 2005, Hurricane Katrina put it out of business indefinitely, but now the fire put an end to any hopes of restoring one of Mississippi‘s few remaining drive-ins.

After working until midnight and looking forward to working another night shift, I wasn’t really wanting to jump out of bed and get to work on breaking the news to the public, but I did.

One of our photographers was already on the scene, so our managing editor and I coordinated to get as much information as we could on our website.  Click here to see photos from the fire and here to see photos of the drive-in before it burned.

After the initial wave of information slowed, I grabbed a video camera to see what else I could gather at the scene of the still-smoldering fire.

One of the owners, Suzette Hargroder, was there, so I asked  her to talk about what it meant to her to see her family’s longtime business (and home) go up in flames. Here’s a link to the video.

It was heartbreaking to see the Beverly laying in a pile of ashes. The only thing left standing was the frame of one of the movie screens, and the memories of the good times had there by the thousands of people who had visited the theater throughout the years.


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