Watertown Drive-In

Frost Bridge Road and James H. Darcey Memorial Highway,
Watertown, CT 06795

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Grand opening ad, via Flickr

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The Watertown Drive-In was opened June 30, 1955 with Fred Astaire in “Daddy Long Legs” & “Canyon Crossing”. It was short lived as it was flooded on August 18, 1955, destroying everything except the screen. It reopened July 1, 1956. Owned by LaFlamme. In 2002, the concession stand was torn down. Both screens were torn down in July of 2004.

Contributed by Dave Bonan

Recent comments (view all 7 comments)

Roger Katz
Roger Katz on September 1, 2005 at 5:38 pm

Should be listed as demolished.

edwardguinea on December 30, 2006 at 8:22 am

The single screen drive in often played first run pictures in tandem with a downtown Waterbury theatre. This was also owned by the Sirica family I believe. At some point the LaFlamme family purchased it and did very well with the business.
In the 1970’s it showed porn causing disturbances on nearby Route 8. The two additional screens were added in the seventies and the drive in played, well, “drive-in” type movies. B- movies, slasher films, Stewardess soft porn things. The land became too valuable, the theatre closed and the property was sold.Too bad because it was a great place.

anexwaterburian on May 29, 2007 at 4:52 pm

The Watertown Drive-In may have opened in 1956 or 1957 because there is an April 1957 Watertown Drive-In ad in the Waterbury Republican proclaiming that it was “New England’s Newest and Finest” that can be seen at View link

kencmcintyre on December 23, 2009 at 6:45 pm

Status should be closed/demolished. There are some photos of the ruins here:

NYozoner on February 14, 2011 at 11:12 am

James H Darcey Memorial Hwy & Frost Bridge Rd, Watertown, CT 06795

The above address will map accurately to the location of the drive-in, which is visible on Google Earth using present day imagery.

According to the 2010 aerial imagery, the property is currently undeveloped.

dallasmovietheaters on August 16, 2015 at 3:00 pm

Started advertising on August 1, 1956 so that’s likely the time it opened.

NeonMichael on March 25, 2017 at 8:33 am

According to an excellent timeline posted on Flickr along with the Grand Opening newspaper ad:

The Watertown opened June 30, 1955, but a flood on Aug. 18 destroyed everything but the screen. It rebuilt and reopened July 1, 1956.

The original owners, Fred Sirica and John Quatrano, sold the Watertown to Jade Theaters in 1973. The LaFlamme family bought it in 1976 and ran it until it closed in 1984. They had added two smaller screens in 1979.

The concession stand was torn down in 2002, and the screens followed in 2004. As of 2006, the State of Connecticut owned the property.

There are many more details in Charlie Crowell’s timeline, so you really should go read it. I’ll close with the last two sentences of that post:

With the exception of a 1965 aerial view, there are no known photographs of the drive-in during its years of operation.

(More information can be found at the “Florence T Crowell Historic Watertown Connecticut Photo Gallery”, only on Facebook.)

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