According to Susie Ewing aka "Hot Pants" the Drive In scene was re-filmed on this day 46 years ago1. The scene was originally filmed in Georgia but they had to reshoot the entire sequence because they discovered the film was destroyed when it was shipped back to California for editing.
The filming location was the "Baby Beef Burgers" drive in. Recognizable by its A-Frame shaped building and located near Hansen Dam, Lakeview Terrace, CA. That whole area was a very popular area for filming back in the day.
The primary actors were not there for filming. Susie says the first time she met Burt Reynolds was at a Smokey and the Bandit reunion, 40 years later. That day Susie was either interacting with a recording of Burt or someone reading Burt's lines off screen.
Hot Pants is using the CB radio that was installed in the brown Chevy truck with the chrome rollbar to talk to Bandit.
We can't see what CB unit they are using but the microphone looks like one that was very common across several brands of CBs back then including Midland, Cobra and yes, even Pace. I am still trying to work out the logo to determine the exact model.
This site was used to film a deleted scene for the movie Christine in 1983. Baby Beef Burgers closed in June 1990 and was torn down shortly after. Around 2007 "Discovery Cube Los Angeles" was built and sits on that site today. If you look at the screen shot from Christine below compared to a 2022 Google street view of Discovery Cube you can see the above ground water pipes next to the property.
The blocking scene with the Trans Am and the Georgia patrol was filmed about a mile away. We will talk about that scene in a couple of days.
The filming date was derived based on Susie's story of how she was cast. Susie was called in for her audition while she was at Jack Cassidy's funeral and said she was on set filming the next day. Jack Cassidy's funeral was Dec 16, 1976↩