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The Commack Drive In (like MOST drive ins) had a picket fence surrounding it —that was perpetually abused by local teens. Friday and Saturday nights there became it’s own little “behind the drive-in” party with local teens all through the 1970’s. (This actually sounds like fun—at this point in time!)….Fairfield Village, a large apartment complex was right there—so lots of foot traffic to the drive in. Now teenagers must loiter (and annoy people) in brightly lit multiplexes. Isn’t that that awful! Back to the Commack RKO: One more memory: they always had LOTS of promotional materials in the lobby (lobby cards, stand up displays, etc.) Even in the 1970’s, theaters were getting skimpy with promotional items (UNLESS it was on 42nd Street where even movies like Legend of the Wolf Woman woud get the royal treatment).
Thanks L.M. ! $3.50 per person in 1957 was a LOT of money for one ticket! I submitted all the info on Commack D.I. already—waiting to here if they will accept it or not as an entry on here. I’m still surprised at how lesser, smaller Long Island theaters got on here and Commack slipped past the radar. Wish I had more pictures, especially of the old marquee from the 1960’s. The 1970’s version was pretty generic—actually, the Commack Drive-In was pretty generic, but I still cherish the memories. One night in high school, me & my girlfrind had no car and no money—so we WALKED into the Commack Drive-In and sat next to the speakers and watched “Meatballs” (1979). This story would have been better—if the MOVIE was something actually worthwhile.
No problem. I’m just sorry that we can’t find any shots of the Route 110 drive in.
I just submitted it, LIM. I hope I was correct as to the approx. opening of the theater—I said “early to mid 1960’s” as I did not think Commack DI went back to the 1950’s. Now I need to find the plastic marquee fragment that I had saved from there so I can take a picture. ——————One important Commack RKO TWIN movie I had seen: “Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory” when it was NEW. How could I forget!?
I think this is where they filmed exterior shots for “Conquest of the Planet of the Apes” ?
A Commack Drive In Photo
ad from 1975: does anyone have a picture of the theater from the 1970’s? View link
and a photo of the Commack Drive In while still opened:
Picture of the Commack Drive In Theater :
I forgot this one/ add it to the middle list : the 1976 version of King Kong (that I saw at the RKO Twin in Commack !). I thought that movie sucked…even as a 14 year old. ———————– P.S. Add to my Commack RKO Twin list: 1986 or so, we saw an ad for a really horrible movie, called “Something Special” (look it up on IMDB). It starred Patty Duke as the mother to a teenaged girl—who wishes she was a boy—and overnight, her dream comes TRUE. We saw this “What the F—k?” ad in Newsday. As a JOKE, we went to the Commack Twin, to see this. The place was nearly PACKED too. Why? I have no idea. It was so bad; almost on the level of an ABC Afterschool Special or something. Half way through the movie, we got up and yelled “This sucks” and ran out of the theather laughing…….
The movies that get mentioned the MOST on here are:
These big hit movies only get mentioned occasionally (but should get MORE mentions as to how popular they were): Grease, Saturday Night Fever, The Exorcist, The Omen, Logun’s Run, Rosemary’s Baby.
These movies NEVER get mentioned, BUT were HUGE hits in their day: Love Story, Airport, American Graffiti, The Stepford Wives.
I too saw the original 1977 “Star Wars” here. Must have been a limited release, because we were from Commack, and my friends Mom drove us all the way to Hicksville wich seemed so far away.
Ad for Drive In on Sunrise Highway in 1964:
Willard Ad at the 110 ! “Tear ‘em UP!” http://snackbar-confidential.blogspot.com/
WILLARD AD: View link
ABOVE: see a pic of the Larkfield after it closed but before it turned into an ugly office space!
… I don’t enjoy sounding like an old geezer pointing his finger at an entire generation in shame, but the complexity and horrors of “today” certainly make the past, say like “The Brady Bunch” era, look so comforting (and certainly funny too!). It’s all relative: if your “wonder years” were in 1985 watching “Goonies” at a local Multiplex, that’s just what you got stuck with. I consider myself lucky to have been a kid in the “Love American Style” era when it was truly a BIG deal that a new movie called “Mark of the Devil” was in theaters that had actual vomit bags and you could see a head get cut off!
Thanks guys! I have Commack Drive-In pix to put up soon! CaptRonLI: Yes, things were better in the 1970’s. In My Humble Opinion: The 70’s were the last “innocent” generation (more or less). Really , it’s all about simplicity, like say, a drive-in theater. Nothing complicated—just FUN! Me and some of my posse have a complex theory about the “generations” (I mainly use this as my “How the 1980’s Ruined Everything” speech when I’ve had too much to drink). The reality of it was, as kids in the late 1960s to early 1970’s, we all (for the most part) had “1950’s parents” with those “old fashioned” values. A teenager of “now” would have had parents who mostly grew up in the late 1970’s/ EARLY-to-mid 1980’s…..a different set of rules and morality….. and
The York and the Whitman seemed to be “brothers”. The York was a little more “grungy”. I saw “Young Frankenstein” there. After the Whitman theater, McCrory’s and Cookies Steak Pub closed there was NO REASON to go to that mall anymore. Have you been there lately…it’s horrible! I think that was Long Island’s first indoor mall (1964).
The most mentioned movies on this site are: 1)The Sound of Music.2)Jaws.3)The Godfather. 4)the first three Sean Connery/ James Bond movies. 5)Star Wars (THE MOST MENTIONED MOVIE ON THIS SITE —and the first two sequels too). 6) the 1974 re-release of Gone With The Wind. 7)E.T. ****************************************
These hits do not get mentioned as much as they should (Block-buster-wise): Grease, Saturday Night Fever, Willard (incredible as it seems now,this was the most talked about movie in town at the time!),The Exorcist (gets mentioned once in a while), American Graffiti (never gets mentioned!),Airport(the original) and the BIGGEST movie of 1970, Love Story.
I can’t believe it either, Rori. The marquee was there when I was still in high school—probably 1978/1979 or so. It was pretty big as I remember…I think in a big curved “mushroom” shape , almost. The big problem with “historical societies” is that they do not deem the 1960’s historical. Rather, they will focus on some old lady walking around a dusty road all decked out in a Little House on the Prairie outfit. Conceptually speaking: it’s an Old Fashioned way of thinking Old Fashioned! But let’s face it, in terms of “today”, 1967 looks like 1951 and I can only ponder the future….will the “children of tomorrow” fondly recall the Multiplexes and wish they had pictures?
http://snackbar-confidential.blogspot.com/ I just posted pictures of the flea market from a July 1972 issue of Newsday color magazine section. You can barely see the snack bar in one shot. Please lets all work together and get some full clear pictures of the Route 110 Drive In !
WOW! GREAT PHOTOS!
One point never mentioned about 42nd Street “grind houses”: they showed OLD movies from the 1970’s—in the friggin' 1980’s. I remember a marque showing “Legend of the Wolf Woman” (from I believe 1977) in like 1981! I can’t imagine charging full price to see a 4 year old movie! I also remember seeing “Lisa & The Devil” (A.K.A. “House of Excorcism” w/ Telly Savalas & Elke Sommer) from 1975—-playing in 1980! And actually, it may have been at Cine 42! I cannot remember. So sad that when I look at those shots like the above picture from RobertR; the 1970’s are staring to look like the early 1950’s from where we now stand!