Shipyard Drive-In

Harbourside Boulevard & Shipyard Street,
Providence, RI 02905

1700 cars

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Showing 19 comments

Kendjr
Kendjr on May 19, 2012 at 9:42 pm

To Elevatortribe, The Iron Buttterfy Concert atthe Shipyard never happened, it was cancelled at the last minute, I recall it was scheduled in May of 1971 I left R I in June of 1971, maybe the concert was rescheduled? I recall us all getting ready for it, D J Mike Sands from WICE Radio was going to host it, hope this bit of info helps Ken

Kendjr
Kendjr on May 19, 2012 at 9:36 pm

Yes Dchad this is Ken, I’m still here but for some reason your Cox email kept bouncing, no more pictures of the Shipyard, I did locate the Manager Earl Clancy who I worked for back in the late 60’s he has no pictures of the Drive-in, wish I could find a picture of the screen, email me, Ken

Dchad46
Dchad46 on April 11, 2012 at 12:18 am

Does anyone have any other pictures of this drive-in ?

Ken (from the West Coast -are you still out there)

elevatortribe
elevatortribe on January 8, 2011 at 1:35 am

I would love to hear of any insights on the concert by IRON BUTTERFLY at the Shipyard. I have a nice print of the poster, made by the mad peck.

MrDJDude
MrDJDude on December 9, 2010 at 10:52 am

Maybe I’m off my rocker, but looking at the current Google Map would suggest the layout of the area has changed some. If you search for 134 Harborside Avenue, and drop the Street View marker at the corner of Shipyard Street & Harborside Avenue, you can see the former field. Maybe Allens Avenue ran there at one point…but not anymore. Just my two cents on it.

Not much left – just the faint impression of the rows. And I know it’s the right location because I compared with Lost’s satellite image – the bends in the riverbank match.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 16, 2010 at 1:24 pm

Item announcing the recently opened Shipyard Drive-In, including the promotion for the new theatre, in Boxoffice magazine, August 17, 1957.
View link

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 16, 2010 at 1:20 pm

Item announcing building of Shipyard Drive-In by Berry Hill Corp., Boxoffice magazine, September 8, 1956.
View link

bygonedays
bygonedays on November 1, 2008 at 8:18 am

I saw movies at the Shipyard (~1960-68) It was a great way for families to have a night out.. Just hang a speaker in your window and you were good to go.. Also in that same vicinity was the Atlantic Mills discount outlet, where we shopped every year getting ready for school.. A friend of mine and I, also frequented the Shipyard Ice Skating Rink every Saturday for a couple of years.

Years later (~1978), I worked at RI Imports (owned by Jake Kaplan) who either owned or leased the grounds of the old Shipyard Drive-In. We parked new imported cars (Nissan, Saab, Mitsubishi), driving up and down the rolling slopes which, years before, held carloads of families facing the big screen. The screen was still up when I worked down there.

Lost Memory’s image references in Feb 2005, have changed slightly.. Everything is the same except lead the number with a zero.. e.g. “ritship12.jpg” is now “ritship012.jpg”

Partymonster
Partymonster on August 30, 2008 at 2:44 am

My band “The Van Goghs” played a gig here in the mid-late 60’s before and between movies. The gig was lousy, but I was with my college sweetheart Patricia “Irish” Finnerty, so it waasn’t so bad…

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on January 29, 2008 at 1:50 pm

In September 1964, Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow played in first-run at the Shipyard Drive-In, day-dating with the downtown Majestic Theatre. The Italian-made film, starring Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni, was very popular.

smed55
smed55 on November 7, 2007 at 6:03 am

Although I never worked at The Shipyard Drive In, I did work at the Seekonk Twin which was owned by the same company. I remember when they showed the movie “Billy Jack” they had a tremendous opening night and didn’t have nearly enough speakers for the numbers of cars they expected. We had to pull speakers off the back rows at the Seekonk Twin, rush them down to the Shipyard, and get them installed for Saturday night. Before radio sound I recall several times where speakers were transferred between drive-ins.

JIMBEAR
JIMBEAR on January 22, 2006 at 2:38 am

I noted the comment that the address, 1 Washington Avenue, was incorrect. I can assure you that the correct address was, indeed, 1 Washington Avenue. Washington Avenue in Providence runs from Broad Street to Michigan Avenue. During WW II, the main gates and Administration Buildings of the Walsh-Kaiser Shipyard were located at the intersection of Washington and Michigan Avenues. The Admin building and all of the property was officially located at 1 Washington Avenue. The theater itself was actually at the spot where the six ship building and launching ways were located. The Admin building and an office building from WW II are now being used by the Johnson And Wales Culinary Arts School, and I also believe they still use 1 Washington Avenue as an address. http://www.jwu.edu/prov/dir_harb.htm
Number 10 on the J&W map was the Admin building, and number 1 was the location of Selective Service until the 70s.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 20, 2005 at 5:28 pm

An interesting fact about this drive-in is that although the entrance and much of the parking/viewing area were in Providence, the screen itself was located over the city line in Cranston! This raised an issue in November of 1969 when, according to a Providence Journal article, a Cranston councilman by the name of Anthony L. Dibiasio, voted no at a meeting to a renewal of the license for the drive-in. He was outvoted. The theatre had been showing movies like the X-rated Fanny Hill. Cranston Council President Paul J. Pisano, an attorney, remarked that because the theater is half in Cranston and half in Providence, it is a legal question as to which city would have jurisdiction in the matter of an objectionable film. He asked, “Is the obscenity on the screen or is it in the projector?"
The film was running simultaneously at the Shipyard and at Loew’s State (now Providence Performing Arts Center) in downtown Providence.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on May 5, 2005 at 4:08 pm

Johnson’s Hummocks was a popular seafood restaurant (primarily) on Allens Avenue in the 1960s and earlier. The building is still there. I’m guessing it’s some kind of club. That whole area is a given over to the sex trade: porno emporiums, sex clubs, gay bathhouses, almost the Bangkok of New England…well, not quite. But people come from all over. Um, excuse that.

hardbop
hardbop on May 5, 2005 at 3:51 pm

One other comment about the Shipyard and that general area is that I remember there used to be a nice restaurant down there called “Johnson’s Hummocks” or something like that. I remember going there once when I was a kid, but it closed long ago.

hardbop
hardbop on May 5, 2005 at 3:44 pm

I remember going here as well. That was a weird neighborhood. I can’t remember exactly where the drive-in was. I know the general area as well. You can see it on your right if you are driving into Providence from Cranston and Warwick.

I remember going here and they would have DJ’s from local radio stations doing giveaways before the show and at intermission. I love those graphics they would show to entice people into the snackbar to eat all that awful food. Those promos would have kitsch value now.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on May 4, 2005 at 7:22 pm

Yes, lostmemory. Allens Avenue is correct. 1 Washington Avenue is wrong, in fact it is VERY AMUSING because that was the address for the U.S. Selective Service induction center at one time, located near the Providence shipyard and not far from the drive-in. It’s where you went for your draft physical and had to line up with a bunch of other naked guys to be examined. I know. I had to go there in the early 1960s.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on February 9, 2005 at 3:18 pm

Some drive-in lists give an address for the Shipyard Drive-In as 1 Washington Ave. That address is wrong. I found an old ad for this drive-in and the directions in the ad are as follows:
“Directions: Take 95 to Thurbers Avenue exit. Follow Thurbers Avenue to Allens Avenue. We are located right off Allens Avenue”.
This drive-in was located right next to the Providence River. I also found a satellite photo of this drive-in that shows the drive-in and the dark area below in the photo is the Providence River. Allens Ave. is the road right above the drive-in in the photo.

Satellite photo:
http://www.drive-ins.com/pictures/ritship15.jpg
Marquee photo:
http://www.drive-ins.com/pictures/ritship12.jpg