August Moon art

Construction of an indoor drive-in theater concept planned since 2017 for an East Nashville parking lot used by Tennessee Titans fans has been put on indefinite hold.

To be called August Moon Drive-in, the 40,000-square-foot, air-supported dome eyed for the site would seat movie-goers in classic cars offering high-end sound systems. The goal is for patrons to experience movies as Americans did when drive-in movies were popular in the middle of the 20th century.

The address is 14 James Robertson Parkway, just to the east of I-24 (see here courtesy of Google Maps). Michael Counts, the concept artist behind the August Moon Drive-In and owner of New York City-based Counts Projects, told the Post Tuesday the efforts “are on hold but we still have a priority to be in Nashville.”

“We’ve maintained a good relationship with the property owner,” Counts added. “But it’s all about momentum. The project is not dead but is just delayed.”

In 2017, Counts and his development team had negotiated a lease agreement with Main Event Parking, the owner of the lot. However, and somewhat relatedly, efforts in 2019 to establish an August Moon in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, were unsuccessful.

Counts, who has worked with brands such as Disney, Michael Kors and The Walking Dead, said that he now has an added focus on Myrtle Beach, S.C., for the concept.

“The project has momentum,” he said.

In addition to Counts, the development team for a future Nashville August Moon includes Ken Levitan, founder of Vector Management and co-founder of the Nashville Food and Wine Festival; James Diener, co-founder of Freesolo Entertainment and Alignment Artist Capital; Michael Solomon, a New York-based talent manager; and Knoxville-based David Hinkle of Outlet Resource Group.

“Getting August Moon open has been challenging,” Counts said. “New ideas and concepts are both exciting and can seem risky to investors. But we have persisted.”

Previously, the group aimed to open the drive-in concept in the spring of 2018.

According to a release from Counts’ group at time, the faux-outdoor theater was to have offered an initial schedule of 18 showings per week and to have included food and beverage options. To have started at $8, admission prices would have varied depending on show times and whether patrons choose to sit in a classic car.

Counts is the creator of The Ride, a fleet of multi-million dollar motor coaches that offer floor-to-ceiling glass windows and stadium-style seating and give patrons. The buses give patrons theatrical-ized tours of Manhattan.

I began my journalism career in Nashville in 1990, with my current position with Nashville Post having evolved since October 2000 (when I was with the now-defunct The City Paper, a sister publication of the Post starting in 2008).

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