News 12 at 6, June 7, 2008
MONETTA---Gas prices are on everyone's brain these days and many of you are looking for things to do that don't break the gasoline budget. One option is to take I-20 into South Carolina to Exit 22, then head towards Monetta.
A lot of drive-ins are now a part of history, gone. But not the Big Mo. An institution in Monetta that's still alive and still going strong and still a great place to bring the family for a night under the stars.
The only drive-in movie theater still open in the area is the Big Mo, a piece of nostalgia for some.
"I use to come when I was a child." one customer said.
"It's a part of Americana." another said.
And a new adventure for others.
"My wife and kids have never been." one said.
It's a place that harkens back to a time when life was a little simpler. When you could load up the car, grab your popcorn and coke and enjoy a relaxing night without the hassle and the crowds of the megaplex.
But they are a dying breed.
But not gone forever thanks in part to people like Richard Boaz.
"This drive-in opened in 1951 with a musical call Nancy Goes to Rio." Richard said.
You could say the Big Mo is Richard's baby.
"I always used to go as a teen in Virginia." he said.
A childhood fascination led him to resurrect this piece of history in the late 1990's after it had been shut down for more than a decade.
"I remember things from my youth going to the drive-in. I figured I could do that with a drive-in for other people." he said.
And so with a lot of money, patience and elbow grease. He and his family brought a long forgotten place back to life once again.
"They love it." he said.
The turnout on this night would seem to echo those thoughts. With a full concession stands, kiddie rides and more space than you'll ever need, the Big Mo has gone from a curiosity to destination.
An old tradition turned new once again.
"People have fond memories and continue to make fond memories." Richard said with a smile.
Taking a trip back in time is for the most part, impossible. But not here in Monetta at the Big Mo. It'll be open for you through the end of the summer and the beginning of the fall.