Virginia Valley’s First Civil War Encampment Movie Marathon

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Virginia Valley’s First Civil War Encampment Movie Marathon
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Events, Historical Moments, Kids Trail, Outdoor Adventure, Shenandoah Valley

Go Blue Ridge Travel announces the first ever Drive In Theater Civil War Encampment Movie Marathon to benefit the Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation.  From live Civil War encampments to the firing of the canon to appearances by Patrick O. Gorman, the actor playing General John Bell Hood in both Gettysburg and Gods and Generals will showcase the three day Civil War movie event.

The Family Drive-In Theatre, 5890 Valley Pike (US Rt 11) in Stephens City, Virginia is Virginia’s largest drive-in. On September 12, 13, and14th, the theater will host a Civil War movie marathon.  The event celebrates the Battle of Cedar Creek by showcasing four classic Civil War movies to include:

  • Friday and Saturday – Gods and Generals and Gettysburg
  • Sunday – Glory and Shenandoah

The event will have a three-day encampment by both the Union and Confederates re-enactors. Families can enjoy experiencing civil war life on the battlefield.  As a fundraiser for the Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation, visitors will have the opportunity to fire an actual Civil War Cannon.   Re-enactors include the 33rrd Virginia regiment and the 7th Louisiana.

Actor Patrick O. Gorman will be present all three days for autographs and questions. Gorman played Major General John Bell Hood in the movies- Gettysburg and Gods and Generals.

The event will be a fundraiser for the Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation in Middletown, Virginia.  This year is the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Cedar Creek.  This seminal battle secured the Shenandoah Valley for the Union and influenced the re-election of President Abraham Lincoln less than three weeks later. Events in Middletown, Virginia are being planned for October 17-19, 2014 and include reenactments, living history demonstrations, National Park Service ranger programs, interpretive hikes, cannon demonstrations, and an evening commemoration ceremony to honor the sacrifices and memory of the soldiers.

The Drive In is offering a weekend movie pass for: $20/adults or $10/child that will allow you to see all these movies and have fun with civil war history! Daily admissions will also be available at: $8/Adult and $4/Child.


The Family Drive In Theater is one of 366 theaters left in the United States.  Last year with the help of its patrons, the Stephens City theater made the transition from film to digital. “Transitioning to digital has been a great move for the drive in theaters,” said Jim Kopp, manger. “ The 100,000 investment was well worth the price. The pictures are clearer and the sound is much better. There are only 366 drive in lefts and many have not been successful in moving to digital.”

Voted by Go Blue Ridge Travel ‘a must experience childhood experience’, the drive in theater allows families to celebrate one of America’s favorite roadside attractions and re-live the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s and experience how much fun it is to see a movie “under the stars” at one of America’s remaining drive-in theatres!

“The Drive -In is a family affordable experience. Tailgating is what adds to the experience.  Patrons can bring their dog and make their visit a social family event,” said Kopp.

This year drive-in theatres will celebrate their 81st anniversary. In 1933, Richard Hollingshead, an auto parts salesman, opened the first theatre and ushered in a new way to watch movies “under the stars”. Hollingshead’s concept caught on fast and by the mid-60’s there were close to 5,000 drive-ins open world-wide. The late 80’s saw the closing of the drive-in. As home movies began to become popular and high real estate values saw the rapid closing of the industry. It is the love of family social events, which has brought its popularity back.