Are there still any Drive-in Movie Theaters in New York?
Surprisingly, New York has the largest number of operating drive-in movie theaters in the country. With 28 remaining, you can still take a step back in time and experience the way we used to watch movies on the outdoor big screen.
Drive-ins were the wave of the late 1950s and became very popular all over. The number of drive-ins in New York peaked during 1963 at 150 theaters. Of the remaining 28, all are north of the New York City bridges.
New York’s first drive-in opened on Long Island in 1938 in Valley Stream. This one screen, 500 capacity theater the fifteenth built in the United States.
I remember going here as a kid all the time since I grew up in Queens, it was the closest drive-in to where we lived.
At one point in time, Long Island had 16 drive-ins some holding up to 2500 cars. Today they are all just a memory.
Here are the remaining drive-ins in New York:
Bay Drive-in, Alexandria Bay (Jefferson County)
When visiting the Thousand Island area of New York, take a relaxing night out at the Bay Drive-in. In operation since 1968, this place brings you into another world.
The theater has 2 screens and plays two movies per night per screen so you get to choose from first-rate productions and see 2 movies for the price of one.
Don’t forget to visit their 1950s style café featuring diner food where you will really think you stepped back in time.
Four Brothers Drive-in Theater, Amenia (Dutchess County)
Four Brothers is a beloved attraction of the neighborhood. It’s not only a drive-in, but they also have mini-golf, a 50’s style restaurant with carhop service, a full pizza restaurant, a playground, and a food truck. They even have a place to charge your electric car!
With a state-of-the-art projector and sound that you can either receive from your FM radio or Bluetooth. They have a mobile app for your convenience with movie schedules, online food ordering, and all events.
The season runs weekends in March to the end of April then daily through Labor Day then again weekends through October. It’s $11 for adults, $8 for Veterans and 65+ and $6 for children 5 to 10.
You can come as early as you want and hang out and relax until movie time.
Finger Lakes Drive-in, Auburn, (Cayuga County)
The oldest continuously running drive-in New York State for the last 73 years. This drive-in still has audio speakers that attached to your car if you want but also have sound through your FM radios.
While you’re watching at this single screen theater you can order your food at their snack bar and they will deliver right to your car.
Prices are very reasonable with movie tickets for adults at $10 which includes a $2 credit for food and $4 for ages 5 to 11 and kids 4 and under are free. The snack bar food is also reasonable. It is really affordable fun night out for the family.
Hollywood Drive-in Averill Park, (Rensselaer County)
For over 65 years this drive-in, 8 miles from Troy, NY, has been a favorite of the area. It has gone through many renovations but now is a 400 car state of the art facility with a digital projector and an updated sound system.
In earlier years sound came from speakers on poles, today you use your FM radio however the poles are still there.
They have a full-service snack bar that serves pizza, hamburgers, hot dogs and fries as well as popcorn and nachos.
Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for kids 3 to 10. Boy, you can’t beat that for 2 movies. The theater is open spring to fall depending on the weather.
Vintage Drive-in, Avon, (Livingston County)
One of the larger drive-ins in New York is Vintage Drive-in with 4 screens each playing 2 movies each night. Opened April through October, you can even reserve the spot you want to be calling ahead.
You can bring your own food and drink to the movies however you will need a food permit that costs $8. They also have a snack bar serving concession type foods with a pretty big menu which also includes snack food too.
Admission is $10 for adults and $6 for children 4 to 10, 3 and under is free.
Every Sunday during the day the theater turns into East Avon Flea Market. See what you can find from new items to antiques, tools, produce and food and so much more. The flea market opens in May and runs until October, weather permitting. There is no charge to get into the market.
Malta Drive-in, Malta, (Saratoga County)
Since 1949, this drive-in is open April to October. You can bring your own food ($5 permit fee) or purchase food at their concession stand.
They offer a full menu including burgers, chicken, and pizza and are famous for their real shacks in 4 flavors. In addition, they have ice cream, candy, and popcorn.
Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for kids.
Elmira Drive-in, Elmira (Chemung County)
The main screen of this 2-screen theater is one of the largest in New York. It is also one of the oldest operating drive-ins in New York.
Today everything is updated including the projector and the sound to Dolby stereo surround sound, no longer through post speakers.
They also have a concession stand serving popcorn, ices, candy, pizza, chicken, burgers, hot dogs, fries and nachos.
Tickets are $9 for anyone 12 and over and $4 ages 4 to 11 and free for 3 and under.
Ozoner 29 Drive-in, Broadalbin (Fulton County)
This movie theater went “dark” and was restored and reopened in recent years. The drive-in theater is now opened mid-April through October depending on the weather.
No outside food is allowed as they have a full-service snack bar for your convenience. Snack bar and gates open at 7:30. This is a cash-only venue and is $9 for adults, $5 for children 3 to 11 and the movie starts at dusk.
HiWay Drive-in Coxsackie (Greene County)
The second-largest drive-in theater in New York with 4 screens each showing 2 first-run movies each night and the capacity of cars.
Opened in spring and fall weekends only and 7 days a week from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children ages 3 to 11.
They have a snack bar however you are welcome to bring your own food, alcohol and well-behaved pets.
This theater is currently entering its 69th season however it’s up for sale at the current time. You see, the owners want to retire but will not sell it to anyone unless they agree to keep the drive-in opened as it is today showing first-rate movies to the community.
Delevan Twin Drive-in, Delevan (Cattaraugus County)
Delevan opened in 1959 with one screen and expanded to 2 screens in 2005. This theater was purchased by new owners in 2013.
Slowly but surely they are making improvements to the drive-in which was run down when they purchased it.
Tickets are $9 for adults, $8 for seniors, $6 for children 3 to 11 and under 3 are free.
Glen Drive-in Glen Falls, (Warren County)
Just 10 minutes from Lake George, this drive-in has 2 screens and the capacity of 800 cars. It’s a great place to visit when vacationing in the area.
The drive-in is opened weekends beginning in April then 7 days a week from Memorial Day to Labor Day, then back to weekend only until the close of the season sometime in September or October depending on the weather.
It’s an affordable family night out with adult tickets at $10 for adults and children at $5.
For your convenience, they also have a snack bar. Come and enjoy their 52nd season.
Jericho Drive-in, Glenmont (Albany County)
Jericho Drive-in and Twist Ice Cream have the same owner and are located right next store to each other.
The drive-in is open April through October on weekends and 7 days a week during peak summer months. This is a single screen drive-in that holds up to 400 cars.
Season passes are available. Nightly admission is $10 for adults and $5 for children.
Twist Ice Cream Shop is open all year serving ice cream and many homemade specialties. They have waffle cones, as well as hand-dripped candy ice cream cones. They also serve special ice cream flavors such as Maine Blueberry and Rocky Mountain Raspberry.
In addition to delicious ice cream, they have a snack stand serving popcorn, burgers, nachos, hot dogs and pizza.
Greenville Drive-in, Greenville (Greene County)
Although going dark many times, the new owners who reopened the drive-in in 2015 have made this place a great place to visit. They have a covered patio with music all the time and a live band on Saturdays before the movie.
They serve food and adult beverages as well as kid’s beverages at the Projectists Club which opens before the movies. You can even bring your pets which are allowed on the patio.
All tickets are $7 each at this single screen, 500 car drive-in with a view of the Catskill Mountains.
Hyde Park Drive-In Hyde Park (Dutchess County)
This is one of the closest drive-ins to Manhattan (less than 2 hours) and is located across from FDR Estate and is preserved by the National Park Service.
The owners of this theater also own Overlook Drive-in Theater too and has preserved both theaters into a family-friendly venue.
This single-screen theatre has a capacity of 670 cars however it is recommended to come early during peak season as it gets very busy.
Tickets are $10 for adults and $7 for children 5 to 11. They also have a full-service snack bar for your convenience.
Transit Drive-in, Lockport (Niagara County)
Transit is a large drive-in with 5 screens holding up to 1500 cars. Just 30 miles from Buffalo and 20 miles from Niagara Falls, this is a great side trip when traveling to these areas.
This drive-in has been owned by the same family (the Cohens) since 1952. Today one of the grandson’s owns it and has been making improvements since 1987.
In 1995, a 19 hole miniature golf course was build and is affordable for families at just $3 per player.
The drive-in is opened from April to November on weekends and 7 days a week during summer months. Make sure you come early cause on weekends it gets very busy.
They have a full-service snack bar for your convenience serving, burgers, pizza, hot dogs, popcorn and ice cream to name a few.
So bring your family and yes, your dogs are allowed too and come to one of New York’s biggest drive-ins and experience “the movies under the stars”.
Valley Brook Drive-in Lyon Falls (Lewis County)
Showing double feature movies since 1952, this single screen theater is the cheapest in New York. Also, as most folks at this 400 car drive-in get to listen to the movie via FM radio, 25% can still listen through pole speakers.
Ticket prices are $7 for adults and just $2 for kids 7 to 11, with children 6 and under free. And yes, you can even bring your dogs on your night’s adventure to the movies.
56 Auto Drive-in Massena (St Lawrence County)
This is the smallest drive-in in New York with one screen and only 150 parking spaces for cars. It’s another inexpensive theater with adults’ tickets at $7.50 and kids 4 to 12 $3.50. Children 3 and under are free.
They also have a snack bar featuring hot dogs, hamburgers, fried dough, slushies, popcorn, candy and soda.
Sunset Drive-in Middleport (Niagara County)
Sunset Drive-in has been going strong since 1950 and has it all making an awesome night. In addition to the drive-in, they also have a 50s style restaurant, an ice cream shop and an old fashion playground.
The ice cream shop, Sunset Twisters, has many flavors of ice cream to choose from. The restaurant serves good, affordable food. You have 3 screens to choose from playing 2 movies each. You just can’t beat it.
Tickets are $9 for adults, $4 for children 5 to 11 and free for kids 4 and under.
Fair Oaks Drive-in Middletown (Orange County)
Originally opened in 1970, Fair Oaks has seen numerous owners and has been closed many times and reopened again. It closed again in 2015 but now has new owners who reopened it after numerous upgrades including changing it to all digital.
The theater has 2 screens with an 800 car capacity and a made to order food concession which is both reasonable and delicious.
Ticket prices are $9 for adults, $7 for seniors and $6 for children 5 to 11. And yes, you can also bring your well-behaved dogs!
Warwick Drive-in Theater, Warwick (Orange County)
This old-fashion drive-in has 3 screens showing first-run movies from April to October. They also have a snack bar serving grilled and fried foods, soft drinks, candy, and popcorn.
Tickets are $12 for adults, $8 for seniors and children 4 to 11, and 3 and under are free. You are also allowed to bring your dog with you to the movies.
Overlook Drive-in Theater Poughkeepsie (Dutchess County)
This family-owned theater has been opened since 1955 and is the closest drive-in to New York City. The single screen is the biggest in the tri-state region at 6 stories high. There are spaces for 750 cars.
Adult tickets are $10 and $7 for children 5 to 11. Under 4 are always free and you can even bring your dog. This is a cash-only business as they don’t accept credit or debit cards.
Hathaway’s Twin Drive-in, North Hoosick (Otsego County)
Opened in 1948, it’s one of the oldest drive-ins still around in the state. This twin-screen theater operates from April to Columbus Day Weekend in October.
They have a full-service snack bar serving nachos, hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken tenders, pizza, fries, candy, popcorn, soda, and slushies. If you prefer to bring your own food, there is a $5 cooler charge.
Ticket prices for adults are $10 and children 3 to 11 are $5 (under 2 are free). You can also bring your dog.
Unadilla Drive-in, Unadilla (Otsego County)
This single screen drive-in is open the end of April through Labor Day weekend. In recent years they have done a lot of improvements with a new updated screen, digital projection and sound, and renovated snack bar and bathrooms.
The snack bar serves affordable food including, burgers, fries, pizza, chicken sandwiches, popcorn, candy, nachos, and zucchini sticks.
The theater is only 12 miles west from Oneonta and plays family-friendly double features on weekends during its season. Tickets are $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and $5 for kids ages 5 to 11.
Midway Drive-in Theater Fulton (Fulton County)
The Midway Drive-in opened in 1948 and has had three owners during that time with the current owner, Nagelschmidt family since 1987. This single-screen, 600 car theater shows movies in digital projection and FM stereo sound.
On Sunday nights, movies are also in Open Captions for the deaf and hard of hearing community. It is one of a few theaters in New York that offer this.
In 2014, the screen was damaged by a storm and needed to be replaced. Insurance funds paid for a part but the community helped out and had fundraisers to ensure that the drive-in remained opened. You see the theater wasn’t only a special place for the Nagelschmidt’s, it was special for the entire community and together they rebuilt.
The theater is open sometime in April and closes sometime in October or November depending on the weather. Ticket prices are $9 for adults, $3 for children 7 to 11 and free for your kids 6 and under.
They also have a concession stand with food made to order featuring burgers, fries, hot dogs, pizza, meatball subs, chicken, sausage, nachos, popcorn, candy, and soft drinks. In addition, they have an intermission drawing for a free large pizza.
El Rancho Drive-in Theatre, Palatine Bridge (Montgomery County)
The same people that own this drive-in also own Ozoner 29. This single-screen drive-in has the capacity for up to 300 cars. The season is weekends from the end of April to October depending on weather and 7 days a week from the end of school to Labor Day.
Ticket prices are $9 for adults and $5 for kids 3 to 11. Dogs are welcomed but credit cards are not as this theatre is cash-only.
Black River Drive-in Watertown (Jefferson County)
After being dark for decades the theatre was reopened in 2006. This single screen drive-in has the capacity of over 500 cars. Audio is through a local radio station on FM in stereo.
Opened from late April through October, depending on weather, they offer Open Captions on movies on Sunday nights if available.
They have a snack bar and have a pizza drawing during intermission. For the 2020 season, a new fryer was purchased just to make fried dough and funnel cakes.
Ticket prices are $8 for adults, $6 for active military and $3 for kids 7 to 11 (6 and under are free). Your dogs are also welcomed to join you at the movies but please walk them in designed areas.
Silver Lake Twin Drive-in, Perry (Wyoming County)
This isn’t just a drive-in movie theater, it is a full entertainment center like no other drive-in in New York.
The twin-screen drive-in with the capacity of 700 cars is opened April though October, weekend only and 7 days a week from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Ticket prices are $8 for adults and $5 for children 4 to 10.
In addition to the drive-in, there is also an 18-hole miniature golf course, video arcade, inflatables for kids play on weekends and Corral Mining Company.
They also have a full-service restaurant with a complete menu, an ice cream parlor serving 26 flavors including custard, yogurt, shakes and lattes, and a pizzeria.
The whole facility is cash-only and there are ATM machines for your convenience.
Portville Drive-in Theater, Portville (Cattaraugus County)
A latecomer to the drive-in, this theater opened in 1970 as a single screen. Since then they have updated to 2 screens, (one of them being the largest in New York State) and state of the art digital sound and projection.
This is also one of the most affordable drive-ins in New York with adult tickets at $7 and kids 11 and under only $2. They also have a snack bar for your convenience serving popcorn, candy, soft drinks, pizza, nachos, and fries.
If you’re looking for an affordable family-friendly evening out or a romantic one with your sweetheart the drive-in movies is a place you should consider on a warm summer night.
New Yorks remaining 28 drive-ins are all upstate and most are family-owned neighborhood businesses that bring back memories of a simpler life.
If you ever get the opportunity to go to a drive-in theater you won’t regret taking a step back in time and experience the “movies under the stars”.
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