MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Do you remember the Southwest Twin Drive-In? It is a popular spot that has been around since the 1950’s, but it has been vacant for years.
What was once a staple in this Westwood community, has lied dormant for years. While the Southwest Twin Drive-In property is now owned by the City of Memphis, it is the community that is taking the first step to make change.
What many see as bleak, desolate, and vacant, others see promise.
The Southwest Twin Drive-In was built in 1956. In 2001, it shut down. For more than two decades, it has sat vacant. Hopefully, not anymore.
“We’re trying to revitalize it,” said Watkins.
He said Westwood community members are reimagining the area.
“We want to see the police station, the library. We want to see a community center. We want to see a splash pad. We want have opportunities for entertainment, opportunities for people to come. We want to see retail there,” said Watkins.
Saturday, they held a community cleanup.
“The community cleanup was for the purpose of us coming together as a community. Stimulate some activity, some energy, some excitement and begin to see this our Southwest Twin. It belongs to the community,” said Watkins.
As residents took action on the blighted space, it also sends a message to the City of Memphis.
“Don’t leave us out, out here in Westwood. We are a unit and we’re banded,” said Watkins. “It represents the fact that our community is worthy and worth serious investment because that theatre is there… We can turn this around.”
Watkins said the hope is for a groundbreaking on the property for the new police station or library by the end of the year.