When Rolanda Powell bought a home in the Bankhead area in the summer of 2018, she wasted no time getting involved in the areas booming revitalization efforts.
As the President and a founding member of the Center Hill Neighborhood Association, she’s found a way to showcase her love of community and community engagement. Now she is bringing her professional experience in media and marketing together for a unique upcoming project — “Movies in the Park.”
This free movie night, beginning in June 23, 2019 in Center Hill Park, is a family-friendly affair designed to showcase the vibrant and dynamic community Powell holds so dear. It will bring residents and visitors alike together to celebrate community and revitalize historic parts of the neighborhood. It is also a kickoff event for Powell’s wider project: Bringing back the Bankhead Drive-In Theatre.
For decades, the Bankhead Drive-In Theatre was a staple of the community, serving as an entertainment and cultural hub for the area. Powell hopes to recapture this by bringing a 21st century experience to the traditional idea of a drive-in theatre. It also is part of the larger story of revitalizing the area through strategic initiatives. This includes city projects like Bellwood Quarry, as well as TI and Killer Mike’s latest venture in buying Bankhead Seafood and its building as a way to revitalize surrounding neighborhoods and save local businesses.
In many ways, creating a state-of-the-art drive-in theatre is a natural progression for Powell. Before becoming a marketing manager at Georgia Tech, she produced award-winning shows like Going to the Chapel and co-hosted and produced the podcast Outchea with her brother, comedian Lil Duval, which reached Top 5 for iTunes comedy podcasts. Her strong understanding of media and marketing – along with her passion for community development – made bringing back the Bankhead Drive-In seem like a perfect next business venture.
Powell envisions that this next iteration of the Bankhead Drive-In will drive economic development opportunities for the surrounding area, and those who attend the theatre screenings will be treated to a 21st Century experience, with state-of-the-art technology added to a traditional form of family entertainment.