Tyler's Travels: The Big Mo

MONETTA (WACH) -- Monetta is 40 or so miles to the west of Columbia and is home of the Monetta Drive-in, otherwise known as The Big Mo.

The drive-in theater was born in 1932 in Camden, NJ, when RM Hollingshead put a projector on the hood of his car, and cast a picture onto a screen he had nailed to trees in his back yard. It was from those humble beginnings that the drive-in craze was born. In its heyday, there were roughly four thousand drive-ins across the country. Fast forward half a decade, give or take a year, and only about four hundred remain. One of only three in South Carolina is The Big Mo .

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The Big Mo opened in 1951, and after a long life, eventually closed in the mid-80 TMs. In 1998, Richard and Lisa Boaz, who might be considered drive-in aficionados, found the Mo, in less than pristine shape.

Vines had grown all over, the screen was half blown over, the roof had caved in on the box office, said Richard Boaz, and he thought this is it.

The following year, The Big Mo opened again. For the last thirteen years, The Mo has hosted thousands of movie-goers who can feel a bit of nostalgia as they enjoy a double feature, on one of three screens, showing films ranging from the hottest action films to family favorites like Rio and Hop .

Movie buffs line up hours before dusk on Highway 39 waiting for the gates to open, so they park, enjoy the late afternoon sun, sing karaoke , play a game of corn hole , and get ready for the big show.

It TMs just great family entertainment, says one visitor to the Big Mo, who brings his family down every couple of weeks from Pelion.

The tailgating can also get creative, with pick-up truck beds get filled with chairs, blankets, and in some cases, inflatable mattresses.

As dusk falls, nearly three hundred cars and trucks, packed with friends, families, and first dates all settle in for a double feature on the REALLY big screen.

If the trip to the Monetta hasn TMt been on your list of travels recently, pack up the chairs, pack the coolers, bring a blanket, and enjoy a couple of movies under the stars at The Big Mo!

(Story curtsey of Good Day Columbia contributor and host of Tyler TMs Travels, Tyler Ryan )