202 Drive-In

1414 Wilmington Pike,
West Chester, PA 19382

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Viewing: Photo | Street View

Main entrance was on Route 202 with the exit to the rear of the drive-in leading to a back road. The main building housed the projection booth, snack bar and a small apartment in the rear. Originally, the owners lived on the property. The theater did well because of the location. West Chester College was just a short ride fron the theater.

Contributed by rg

Recent comments (view all 12 comments)

jordanlage on August 4, 2007 at 8:48 am

I have very fond memories of the 202 Drive-in. I lived in West Chester, PA from ages 4-8 in the late 60s/early 70s and my mother brought my older brother and I there several times as kids. Yes, there was the kiddie playground up by the screen that we’d scamper around on until the first film began. A small, battered self-powered merry-go-round used to make me very dizzy. The projection booth building was low-slung, painted light blue as I recall and inside was sold all the typical drive-in food and refreshments, food whose smell was one-of-a-kind, kind of like boardwalk grub, but delicious to an undiscerning 6-year old. The first film I recall seeing at the 202 was Disney’s THE LOVE BUG in ‘68 or '69. A VW bug painted to look like Herbie was parked out front by the entrance as a promotional gimmick. The film was a huge hit the summer it came out, with cars lined up along Route 202 to enter the drive-in before dusk, often the case with popular films there. I remember going one night with my mom, grandmother, aunt, and brother to see a family film as the first feature (I’ve forgotten what) but the second feature was not for kids. I distinctly recall seeing George C. Scott addressing the troops in front of the American flag in PATTON and then the film’s subsequent opening titles over a scorched North African battlefield as I began to lose my battle with sleepiness. My mom took my brother and I to the 202 in 1968 to see TRUE GRIT and this 5-year old and his 8 year old brother were so enthralled with John Wayne and his heroic showdown with Robert Duvall at the film’s climax that we begged my mom to bring us back to see it again. She did, a few weeks later. The last film I remember seeing at the 202 was a revival of THE STING, possibly in 1975 or 1977. I think by then the speakers you’d attach inside your car window had been replaced by a system which you could simply tune in to a station and hear the movie over your car radio. It wasn’t long after that that the sun went down for good at the 202, but my cherished childhood memories of the times spent there have not. When I go back to the West Chester area to visit my folks, I still think of the 202 when driving by the spot it had been.

jordanlage on August 19, 2007 at 8:28 am

As of August 2007, the former 202 Drive-in is now a nursery.

kencmcintyre on May 20, 2009 at 9:37 pm

Here is a March 1970 ad from the Delaware County Daily Times:

ronnie21 on March 6, 2011 at 7:20 pm

the last movies i seen , well, the only time i was here was in June of 1991, saw a double of Ernest goes to jail and a film called fire birds with nick cage. I believe this was the last year for the drive-in to be open. by 92 it was for sale.. now its some kinda of nursery with no remembrances of the drive-in.

ronnie21 on March 6, 2011 at 7:20 pm

in June of 1980 a horror film called Don’t go in the house played here and in 83 Frightmare played here..

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on April 4, 2011 at 5:10 pm

Parked 250 cars in 1956 and was owned by Ike Lenz.

jwmovies on August 29, 2012 at 3:01 am

Address was 1414 Wilmington Pike, West Chester, PA 19382. The zip code was incorrect. The drive-in was located several miles south of the town proper. The nursery is called Shermin (just SW of the hwy).

MovieDude81 on December 5, 2013 at 7:37 am

I never actually saw this theater functioning but throughout the 90’s before it was a nursery I remember the vacant lot with the screen still standing all overgrown with weeds.

Movieman65 on August 7, 2014 at 12:59 am

Wonderful memories of this drive in,when I was little, one summer my grandparents took me to see herbie rides again and Dumbo, and my aunt and uncle took me to see mary poppins and million dollar duck. Great times

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