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112 Drive-In begins its 32nd season & possibly its last

On Friday night, April 15, the movie projector at the 112 Drive-In started for the 32nd season, and this season could be the last time the big-screen drive-in opens.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — The 112 Drive-in has been a Fayetteville institution for decades bringing families and friends together every spring, but its future is unknown.  

“It was the experience that was really great,” said Corey Johnson. 

Corey Johnson remembers going to his first movie at the 112 Drive-in with his dad when he was a kid. 

“It was magical. We were sitting in the back of my dad’s truck, and it was one of the most wonderfully intimate movie experiences I’ve ever had. It’s one of those core movie memories that made me a movie fan today,” he said. 

The Fayetteville Planning Commission voted earlier this week to recommend the rezoning between 20 and 25 acres of highway 112 Drive-in property. Right now, it’s just zoned for commercial use but changing that to mixed-use would allow for housing. There has not been an official announcement that the drive-in is closing. There have also been plans shown by the developer that a much smaller drive-in could be located on the property. 

“It’s a great entertainment option and affordable too. It’s one of the things that makes me the saddest about the potential of this place going away is that there are very few sorts of family entertainment options in this area that has this value for money that the drive-in does,” he said. 

City of Fayetteville Development Services Director, Jonathan Curth says this is an area of Fayetteville that has yet to be developed like other parts of the city and is very close to I-49. He says ARDOT has plans to widen and add lanes to Highway 112 in the near future. He says this rezoning aligns with the city’s future land use goals. 

“Not just to have more housing necessarily, but put housing near services, near jobs so that we aren’t in a situation where we are increasing traffic congestion because everyone has to drive for every errand, every need, every bit of recreation that they do,” said Curth. 

Fayetteville city council will discuss the rezoning at their first meeting in May. We did reach out to the law firm representing the developer but were told they had no comment. The owners of the drive-in also told us they do not have any comments. The 112 Drive-In is open and showing a double feature every weekend until further notice. 

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