Not all ruins are from an ancient time, pre-dating our own lifetimes. Many of us spent carefree nights of youthfulness at Long Island's long gone drive-in movie theaters. I still fondly remember arriving in my pajamas before sunset to enjoy the playground at the Bay Shore drive-in.  Knowing two movies were to follow made the experience exciting. Gone are those days, but there are still ruins that exist, as a testament to these wondrous places.


ImageThe Rocky Point Drive-In was located on Route 25A. It closed in 1988, becoming a golf driving range. The driving range utilized the marquee from the former drive-in.  Though the driving range is closed the marquee still exists.


ImageThe Sky-Way Drive-In sat on the edge of Greenport.  A cinderblock building that housed the projectors, concession stand, and comfort station still stands. The small building is in the middle of a maze of pine trees and thorn bushes.  The drive-in had curved aisles forming a semicircle around the screen, with humps in between to park on. These humps are still there today, as well as the theater's marquee, now used by a church.  The last show was in 1975, marking the end of a twenty-five year run.

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Jim Dinizio, the Sky-Way projectionist, inside the confession stand.
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The projector room.
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ImageLong Islanders can still experience the magic of a drive-in, but you have to take a short road-trip off Long Island to do so. This past summer I went to the Delsea Drive-In, located in Vineland, New Jersey. It is about a 3 hour drive from Long Island. I was already in New Jersey on vacation, so it wasn't such a long drive.  It was the same experience I remember from my younger years. Vintage advertisements, for the concession stand, were shown during intermission, further adding to my experience. There are closer drive-ins, located just north of the city. They can be found on http://www.newyorkdriveins.com .

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Your webmaster (back) and his kid brother (front), sitting outside the concession stand.

Comments (11)

    There was also a drive inn in Flanders near river head.my mother was the manager of the drive inn and Suffolk theatre
    There was a farmer's market in Bayshore next to the Drive in. I remember it being a strange and exciting place. After it's demise they had a flea market at the Drive in on the weekends for a number of years. Bayshore had two screens. We once went to Patchogue Drive in for a special all-nighter. They played all of the "Planet of the Apes" movies in succession, (I think there were five) and the sun was up well before the end of the last one. Later on, when I got my license, we'd frequent Commack Drive In (west of the Smith Haven Mall), equipped with a couple of quarts of Bud, a bag of Doritos, and some choice smoking material, to see three B-flicks for $5 a carload. Some of the movies were, "TunnelVision", "Groove Tube", and "Linda Lovelace for President". I recall being there with snow up to the doors on the car on more than one occasion,and maybe one or two other cars in the whole place. Once in a while somebody would honk a horn and someone else would answer back with a honk and before you knew it, there was a chaotic symphony of car horns raucous enough to rival the worst traffic jams on the L.I.E. My kids were born in '81 and '83 and we lived in the Shirley/Mastic area and I took them to the Shirley Drive In until it closed. The picture quality wasn't always the best,(remember watching the movie with the windshield wipers going?), the speakers were often lousy, (sometimes you'd have to drive around and try two or three just to find one that worked at all) this was improved somewhat by the advent of sound via radio transmission, and it was all PURE MAGIC!
    x: they must've meant the Kohl's/Waldbaum's (now a Stop & Shop) shopping center.
    There is no shopping center in Shirley that contains a Target and a Waldbaum's. Just saying.
    How long ago were these photos of the abandoned projection room taken of The Skyway Drive In @ Greenport? was just there today and I couldn't find any remnants at all of sorts. Where a bouts on the premises should I be looking? I wanted to get some photos for myself but was unable to find the places you did?? Can I get some type of hint, it would be greatly appreciated!! Thank you in advance. PS ~ I don't suppose there are any loose window speakers or anything left of the projector itself?!?!
    There use to be a drive-in on sunrise hwy near the Sayville area. Just west of the flea market. During the 80s while still in high school. we all use to hang out there. Honestly can't remember one movie! LOL
    I would often go to the Rocky Point Drive-in with my friend and his brothers in the summer as a Kid. We would go with his parents in a big station wagon and hide in the back with blankets over us. There was nothig as fun as trying not to laugh or talk while waiting on line to get in to the Drive-in.
    Wonder if anyone has pics of the old Bayshore Drive-in that was on Sunrise.
    I spent many nights at the Rocky Point Drive In. I only lived a few blocks away. My friends worked the concession stand and once we had cars it was a popular weekend destination for us local teenagers. Before we had cars we would sometimes lurk behind the rear fence to party and watch the movie for free. Especially the "R" rated ones that we couldn't offially get in to!
    The last movie I caught at a Long Island Drive-in was The Fugitive at Wetbury. I remember going to Rocky Point, Coram, & Shirley the most. I watched alot of James Bond movies there. Shirley is now a Target & Waldbaum's Shopping Center.I was able to take my kids to a drive-in near Carlilse, PA after one of the Corvette shows, & we caught Ice Age 2, we all had such a great time!
    Where the UA theater (now closed) is on 25 right before the intersection with 112 used to be a drive in as well, it had the same sign as the Rocky Point drive in so they may have been owned by the same company. There was another one but I can't remember where it was... Medford maybe? Anyway I remember going with my parents to see Blazing Saddles at the one in Coram. When was that, 74?

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