Commack Drive-In

44 Veterans Memorial Highway,
Commack, NY 11725

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Showing 26 - 50 of 84 comments

Bloop
Bloop on July 6, 2007 at 3:39 pm

Can we get the Modell’s Childrens Theater listed as a page on here!? LOL.

Bloop
Bloop on July 6, 2007 at 10:57 am

It was kinda creepy, but it was so small, and no DOOR on the “theater” just an open door frame with the light coming through. I believe the beauty salon was right next door. Remember the conveyor belt in the supermarket that would send the bags of groceries outside? We always wanted to ride on it! LOL. I imagined most kids did. There was an arcade, with a few kiddie rides, like the standard horse you put the quarter in and it rocks back n' fourth. I’m glad you remember it Saps. Imagine finding a photo of it? I do have a GREAT AD for the cheezy little theater….

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on July 5, 2007 at 9:47 pm

Parents would drop their kids off while they shopped, and I recall that it was pitch black in that little theater at the back of the store, near the grocery pickup. I think there were also kiddie rides nearby.

Bloop
Bloop on July 5, 2007 at 7:47 pm

Oh, one more LOCAL Cinema “Treasure” from the East Northport / Commack area: Modells Dept. store circa 1970 was it’s own universe if you recall; not only did they have a supermarket, a beauty parlor and a barber shop; they had a small Children’s Movie Theater! It was a 40 x 40 foot plywood “box” with a 16 mm projector, and an unfriendly “matron” running it. The seats , seemed like smallish generic church pews, with the vinyl coverings torn and the foam cushions popping out, and To make matters worse; all they showed was Three Stooges shorts and Woody Woodpecker cartoons! Does anybody actually like Woody Woodpecker? LOL. The theater was gone by, 1972/73? Just wondering if anyone else remembers this nightmarish lil Cinema “Treasure”.

Bloop
Bloop on July 5, 2007 at 7:25 pm

…and FIGHT PAY T.V. !

Bloop
Bloop on July 5, 2007 at 4:19 pm

…and a lousy booking at Larkfield (which was very common!).

Bloop
Bloop on July 5, 2007 at 4:13 pm

…one more serious film playing at the never-so-serious Commack Drive In as well as the Commack RKO, and a JUICY Wetsons ad (that was across from the Mayfair in Commack, from what some say,that turned into HARDEES in the 1970’s—– although most Wetsons morphed into Nathans in some areas).
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Bloop
Bloop on July 5, 2007 at 10:34 am

P.S. I have a huge ad collection. One ad I cannot find: I’m looking for ads for “Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things”…playing at ANY Long Island theater or drive in. So far, I have found nothing.

Bloop
Bloop on July 5, 2007 at 10:30 am

…the surreal part was standing in the vacant lot of the Commack Drive In, and having the RKO still standing (and operating)…and thinking “OK, at least that will never close”…

Bloop
Bloop on July 5, 2007 at 10:28 am

That would be GREAT to see. Yeah, I monitored the Commack D.I. in it’s A.D. stages… I moved upstate in 1997…imagine my shock when I returned! I agree with what you said about the Commack’s play list…by 1977, however, it was main-stream movies all the way (I call this the “Star Wars/Disco Era”—which I think was the rotten part of the 1970’s.) The Smithtown D.I. still showed “grind house” horror fare up until 1980. I saved some pull-top soda can tabs that I had found at Commack in the 1980’s…I guess they were from the 1970’s…who would clean between the gravel? D'oh! I should have saved a cup of the gravel too!

ja2day
ja2day on July 5, 2007 at 6:47 am

The Commack Drive-IN seemed to specialize in horror movies. Almost any movie that has a cult reputation today got shown on the big screen there. Black Christmas, Premature Burial, Mad Doctor Of Blood Island, Beast Of Blood, Dracula Vs. Frankenstein, Frankenstein’s Bloody Terror, House That Dripped Blood, and the lsit goes on and on. I am in total envy of Bloop who has a piece of the marquee and explored the drive-in ruins when there was more standing. The DRACULA AD 1972 flier is just the ad mat framed in a Commack Drive-In logo. I will try to scan and post on here along with the pics.

Bloop
Bloop on July 4, 2007 at 9:43 pm

“Undertaker…” is very available on budget DVDs. My copy has “Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things” as a co-feature! “The Corpse Grinders” often played with “Undertaker…” in it’s original release. I’m amazed at how some of these movies that I have only read about in the Psychotronic film book, yet never saw, not only played on Long Island, but at good ole Commack Drive In!

Bloop
Bloop on July 3, 2007 at 3:42 pm

“Boggy Creek” was great scare-the-crap-outta-kids movie! I saw it at the (cut-rate) Larkfield in East Northport. “Live and Let Dive” was better than the the three or four Bond movies that followed it. ‘73 was a great year for “grind house” type movies (that are not listed in that big ad).

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on July 3, 2007 at 11:22 am

After looking at that ad, I now understand why I stopped going to the movies that year. You could have more fun at the swap meet for $1.00. :)

Bloop
Bloop on July 3, 2007 at 11:12 am

It’s 1973, all over again! A dazzling UA page (with a Commack Drive In listing!) from one of the most under-appreciated years of the 1970’s!
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Bloop
Bloop on July 2, 2007 at 7:51 pm

three lousy features at Commack: 1974/1978/1979
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Bloop
Bloop on July 2, 2007 at 3:24 pm

…and ja2day gets points for seeing the Al Adamson double bill!

Bloop
Bloop on July 2, 2007 at 3:21 pm

CAN I BUY ONE OF THOSE FLYERS OR GET A CLEAN XEROX COPY?!!!!!!! Great story ja2day! I also made like 100 pilgrimages to the Commack Drive In cemetery (alone and with friends). (It was creepy and haunting at night!)First few years, the snack bar was standing,the marquee, so was the screen and “toll” booths. Later, the screen and booths came down, followed by the sign (got a piece of it; see my above photo!)and only the snackbar was left—till someone set it on fire.Then people started dumping tires and garbage there (talk about “spitting on a grave”!) Me and my friends would go there at night, and ponder breaking into the snackbar to see what’s in there..but did not have enough nerve. Last night there, we stood outside on what looked like the remains of the linoleum /concrete floor of the snackbar.

ja2day
ja2day on July 2, 2007 at 12:58 pm

Saw BRAIN OF BLOOD and VAMPIRE PEOPLE at the Commack Drive-In in 1971 among countless other horror films. My dad was great about taking me, usually on a Friday night. Remember huge disappointment pulling up to box office to see DRACULA AD 1972 and CRESCENDO but was told too much fog was obscuring the screen. However, the week before I grabbed a pile of fliers printed by the Commack Drive-In from their consession stand for DRACULA AD 1972 and still have them. Lastly, several years ago I visited the abandoned site of the Commack drive-in. The busted-up marquee was still standing and it was just an open over-grown lot with only the gravel pavement still intact. I took some photos (along with shots of the abandoned RKO TWIN in Commack) and went to the elevated spot on the drive-in grounds where we normally parked our car. I dug out a hand-sized piece of the gravel concrete as a souvenir. The NEXT WEEK (!!!) the entire site was leveled and a bunch of stores were being built! What great timing! I am so glad I visited the ruins that particular day and now have a chunk of history from this remarkable place that I loved so much as a kid!!

Bloop
Bloop on July 1, 2007 at 1:46 pm

I wish they were running out of the Commack Drive In!

BobT
BobT on July 1, 2007 at 1:32 pm

“Funny thing was, I remember the Commack Drive In being schizophrenic with their bookings-”

Most Drive-Ins were like that. Drive-Ins were geared toward families. They’d have a family picture first than a “grownup” picture after. I remember going really really young with my brothers in pajamas with blankets and pillows and lots of families went that way. We’d never make to the second feature (or so our parents thought!) Funny thing about the film “Last Summer” you posted. It was shot on Fire Island and there’s a shot of the kids running out of a theater to catch the ferry. The Theater was The Regent in Bayshore yet the picture opened at the other theater up the street The Bayshore.

Bloop
Bloop on July 1, 2007 at 12:23 pm

in the summer of 1969, I saw the TV commercial for this movie; it scared the crap outta me! It was rated “M” (remember that?) so I could not get to see it.___Years later, it was on the ABC Movie of the Week, and I saw it…it was really really good! It’s on DVD now, so if you have never seen it; rent it or buy it. This original ad, shows this 1969 “shocker” playing at BOTH the Commack Drive In AND the Commack RKO at the same time! So now we have evidence that it happened twice (at least). The ad does NOT show the second feature at Commack; but knowing the lop-sided Commack double bills, the co-feature was probably “Born Free”…
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Bloop
Bloop on June 30, 2007 at 3:11 pm

One more classic Commack Drive In hit, I forgot; “Grizzly” (summer 1976). I think, the co-feature was “Beyond the Door” with Juilet Mills?

Bloop
Bloop on June 30, 2007 at 3:08 pm

Oops! The above print ad, is “exploitive” but the actual film is not. Frank Perry was known for his very realistic and gritty portraits of American life….that is up until he directed…“Mommie Dearest”. The VHS tapes of “Last Summer” are going for too much money on E-Bay (because it’s not on DVD…YET).

Bloop
Bloop on June 30, 2007 at 12:22 pm

Funny thing was, I remember the Commack Drive In being schizophrenic with their bookings—often I recall tame middle-of-the-road movies that my parents took me to see; features like “Popi”, “Cotton Comes to Harlem”, “The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight”, “Save the Tiger” and “Diary of a Mad Housewife” and other non-Drive In type movies (THAT A KID WOULD NOT ENJOY)LOL. But I did love being at the Drive In nonetheless. Tracing back; I think the Commack D.I. was at it’s apex in 1975/1976 (the “David Carradine Era”). Consistent drive-in fare tended to play there. “Eat My Dust” was a big deal at the Commack D.I.! * non-exploitive movie ad, from 1969 Commack:
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