Goochland Drive-In gets long-awaited recognition days before opening

GOOCHLAND, Va. (WRIC)  —  The Goochland Drive-In is finally being recognized as an area attraction.

On Tuesday, VDOT posted the small business on four highway attraction signs along I-64.

“I can promise you right now that nobody was ever as excited over a highway sign than me,” says drive-in owner John Heidel.

For eight years, he fought to get the Goochland Drive-In on those signs but always hit a roadblock.

“Movie theaters don’t qualify to go on those signs,” explains Heidel, “Drive-ins are lumped in with movie theaters but drive-ins are a unique animal unto themselves. They are attractions and anyone who comes out here will tell you that.”

Freshman Delegate John McGuire finally got things rolling in January after he arranged a meeting with VDOT and Heidel.

“A lot of the time you hear in politics that politicians don’t get anything done but sometimes we just need to sit people down and listen and together we can solve problems,” adds McGuire.

The signs went up just days before the drive-in opens for the season.

“It’s gratitude,” says Heidel. “It’s validation you know that the drive-in is really acknowledged now as an attraction. The signs are up and we’re about to open the season in two days. I’m pumped.”

The signs will serve a practical purpose too.

The drive-in is in a rural area and some GPS systems have trouble finding the small business with two big screens. The owner hopes the signs will help point patrons in the right direction.

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