Sunset Drive-In and Roller Rink

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City/Town: Hamburg
Location Class: AmusementTheater
Year Built: 1960s
Year Abandoned: 1990s
Status: Abandoned
Photojournalist: Michael SchwarzGinger Beck

The old marquee, no longer standing

First kisses, buzzing mosquito coils, and sneaking into movies in cars… these are several of countless memories of the Sunset Drive In theater and the Sunset Roller Rink in Hamburg, Arkansas, a small town of around 3,000 people in the heart of Southeast Arkansas.

For years, it was one of the only places of entertainment in the small town, a hot spot for birthday parties and movie dates.

Today it remains. Tall pine trees now cover the parking area, once shaped like a baseball field with seemingly endless rows for parking next to speakers on poles. A short step into the wooded area leads to the skating rink, an open air wooden structure with a wooden floor, which no doubt used to be slick for wheels to fly across. The beams above and the structural poles still stand strong. The outside is still emblazoned with white and yellow paint: Sunset Roller Rink.

1981 Movie Flier From Sunset Drive In courtesy of Connie Bozeman Clark

Walking deeper into the woods, visitors may find the occasional overturned speaker pole, but remnants of anything other than woods are rare… that us until suddenly a giant white triumph of wooden movie screen comes into view. Truly a testament to hard work and solid building, it stands with pride, held in place by massive beams. No trees or weather has torn it down. If a movie were projected on it today, it undoubtedly would only appear slightly aged.

A short walk away from the screen leads to a now defunct concession stand and bathroom area made of cinder-block, no doubt the site of many hot dogs, bags of popcorn, and fountain sodas purchased and consumed.

With the decline in the novelty of American drive-in theaters, it is our wish to highlight and remember this amazing structure, no doubt the hot spot of a small town, filled with memories that many people still fondly recount today.
As we do not have exact dates or history, please feel free to leave your memories in the comments.




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Anna barron
Anna barron
7 months ago

Nice to see this reopen

Shirley Taylor
Shirley Taylor
9 months ago

Many memories at the at that skating rink. Connie is my cousin can’t believe she still had that, enjoyed seeing it

Jeanette Sanderlin
Jeanette Sanderlin
11 months ago

My Father, Billy Carpenter, who worked for AP&L was called many times to come get the lights back on if they went out during a movie. Also, my late husband, Howard Sanderlin, bush-hogged this property for the Carpenter's as his summer job. He saved enough money to make a large down payment on our first home.

Mary
Mary
11 months ago

Like everyone else these two places fill my childhood and teenage years with many memories, Mosquito coils burning, popcorn corn dogs hot dogs. Meeting up with friends, skating .. a few memories that I will keep close that brings a smile and warmth in my heart and a sadness that those days went by so fast !!! . My first real job other than babysitting!!! Ms Imie and Mr Robert were so good to many and I am very grateful that there was a place for us to go and have fun and to be part of that nostalgia .… Read more »

Ronald watt
Ronald watt
11 months ago

Lots of memories at both places , helped Mrs Margie Tucker run the rink , working on those skates , lots of fun times that kids today will never get to experience any thing like it

Linda Brewer Morrid
Linda Brewer Morrid
11 months ago

Remember watching American Graffiti on the screen. Then attending Davie Holland's birthday party at the rink years later with my twin boys, Shawn and Gabriel, on a Saturday morning that was so cold that Imie and I thought we might have to chop would outside and start a ?. I miss Hamburger. Linda Morris

Cheryl
Cheryl
11 months ago

I spent every Friday and Saturday night there! So much fun and great memories! Mrs Imie was the best and always made sure everyone stayed in line! Lol makes me sad to see places like this not being used and sad that the kids now days will never know what it was like to have a place like this.

Melissa Hilton
Melissa Hilton
11 months ago

Have many good memories here!

Holly
Holly
2 years ago

Would be great to clear the area and leave the screen and host free movie nights like the bank in crossett does on occasion

RAY WESSON
RAY WESSON
2 years ago

i remember watching a movie on that screen with my wife in child .we had went to watch a movie on Easter Sunday . we ended up being
the only ones there in Mr. Carpenter still let us watch the movie.

Sherry Tucker
Sherry Tucker
2 years ago

My cousins Imma Jean Noble and Robert Carpenter owned the drive in, and my
Mother Margery Noble Tucker owned the skating rink. Love seeing these pictures. Thank you for documenting this.

Alicia McCone
Alicia McCone
Reply to  Sherry Tucker
2 years ago

I remember when your mother Margery Tucker purchased the skating rink and set it just outside the ticket booth of the dive-in. I remember they moved it in place and the original structure was a tent and the floor came in sections and had to be leveled so it could be skated on. Thinking back I never relized how much guts that took for one lady to do.
Alicia Huffman McCone

Sharlene
Sharlene
Reply to  Sherry Tucker
7 months ago

Do you have pictures of what it looked like back in the day ? Would love to see them in action .

monti
monti
2 years ago

loved and lived at the skating rink on the weekends. not being old enough to drive but wanting a social life, the sunset skating was my life on the weekends. I still enjoy rollerskating. it would be awesome if they could bring them back

Bill
Bill
2 years ago

I lived in Hamburg from the time I was born in 1980 until we moved to Missouri in Summer 1993. I remember my parents taking me to see "Return of the Jedi" here and I vividly remember the roller rink and all the birthday parties. I still have a fascination with this place and I'm amazed at how intact everything is after sitting for so many years. Great pictures and great write-up.

Pam
Pam
2 years ago

Sweet sweet memories!! I remember birthday parties and skating every weekend here!! He best!!!

Stacey McLeod
Stacey McLeod
2 years ago

Oh what memories I have of the drive in and the skating rink. Grew up in Hamburg, lived there from the time I was born in 1967 until I married and moved away in 1988.

Jane Smith
Jane Smith
2 years ago

Many fond memories here! I never snuck in, but I can remember some who did! They’d hide in the adjacent woods and then run ?‍♀️ to a car probably saving $1. Lol Mr. Carpenter was known to patrol cars. Fun days.

Rita Murphy King
Rita Murphy King
2 years ago

My home away, loved working there and being with my brother, sister and best friends planting the trees along the road, many good memories and some stressful ones when the flim, broke or the speakers went out but you had to be there, best days of my life!!!!

Kem H Christmas
Kem H Christmas
2 years ago

Many fond memories of the drive in and lots of time spent at the roller rink. Wonderful memories. Thanks so much.

Terri streeter
Terri streeter
2 years ago

Loved the sunset drive in!! I have watched many movies there as a kid and teenager. I wish we could bring this back & let the newest generation experience this!! Awesome memories with my family & friends!!!

A K Harrod
A K Harrod
2 years ago

Spent many nights at the movie and skating to “Another one bites the Dust” !!!! Great place !!!! Thank you for the memories

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