At the Drive-In


Even though I have 20 years of living in Westchester under my belt, old-timers still feel the need to tell me what the county used to be like. The only thing they mention that I really feel I missed out on is the Elmsford Drive-In. The Drive-In, which was located where the Sam’s Club is now on Route 9A, closed in 1979 before I ever had a chance to take advantage. (At least I got to see what it looked like from this creepy photo, courtesy of drive-ins.com).

In many ways, a drive-in theater makes sense in Westchester. Families here drive cars the size of McMansions, so seating would be roomy and comfortable. And since drive-ins are more casual and you’re in the privacy of your own car, it’s more acceptable if you text someone on your cellphone, talk loudly to your neighbor, quiet the crying baby, or do any of those truly irritating behaviors that you do in the Greenburgh Multiplex anyway.

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It’s said that Drive-Ins closed because of rising land prices and the increasing popularity of multiplexes, but multiplexes can’t compete with On-Demand and the real estate bubble has long ago burst, so I think we’re poised for a comeback. C’mon, no one was using Macy Park anyway.

Fine, maybe not. But drive-ins are still cool, and it might interest you to know that they haven’t all gone the way of the dodo. Here are a few that are still (sort of) in our area. If gas prices weren’t so out-of-control, I’d say it’d be worth a day trip to visit one of these. Instead, I say that if you’re going to pass one of these towns on an already-planned vacation, you might want to put a few hours aside to stop by.

Warwick Drive-In
Location: Warwick, NY
Number of Miles from White Plains: 47
Number of Movie Screens: 3
Go Here If: You’re planning on checking out any of the quaint artisan shops at the Sugarloaf Arts Village.

Overlook Drive-In
Location: Poughkeepsie, NY
Number of Miles from White Plains: 60
Number of Movie Screens: 1
Go Here If: You have a rising high-school senior interested in investigating the campus scenes at Vassar and Marist.

Fair Oaks Drive-In
Location: Middletown, NY
Number of Miles from White Plains: 61
Number of Movie Screens: 2
Go Here If: You’re going to spend the weekend luxuriating in the B&Bs of Milford, Pennsylvania.

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Hyde Park Drive-In
Location: Hyde Park, NY
Number of Miles from White Plains: 73
Number of Movie Screens: 1
Go Here If: You’re a big fan of the Roosevelts and you want to check out FDR’s crib.

Pleasant Valley Drive-In
Location: Pleasant Valley, CT
Number of Miles from White Plains: 98
Number of Movie Screens: 1
Go Here If: You’re really, really bored.

Note: Many of these theaters are playing Pixar’s Wall-E. I cannot recommend a better movie to see, drive-in theater or no drive-in theater, but some of the film’s themes will certainly resonate if you see it in kind of a nostalgic mood. Go for it!
 

©Disney/PIXAR. All Rights Reserved.

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