Lynn Open Air Theatre

780 Lynnway,
Lynn, MA 01905

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Lynn Open Air Theatre

E.M. Loew’s Open Air Theatre was opened in July 1937, with a capacity for 500 cars. It had closed by 1978.

Contributed by Jim Powers

Recent comments (view all 9 comments)

IanJudge on November 28, 2005 at 1:59 pm

This was an E. M. Loew’s drive-in on the Lynnway in Lynn (I believe roughly where the Walmart is). For a time in the early 80’s it was listed in the Guinness book of records as the largest drive-in in North America (or possibly the world?) with over 4,000 cars. It must have closed soon afterwards. As far as I know there is no trace of it left.

macknife on January 18, 2006 at 2:22 pm

The “Guiness” comment is not accurate. I attendede the Lynn Open Air Theater many times, and it was average Drive-In size..actually smaller than the nearby Revere Drive In. Also it closed in the late sixties or yery early 70’s..

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on March 24, 2007 at 7:41 am

As just plain “Open Air”, this drive-in is listed under the E.M. Loew circuit in the “Theatre Circuits in United States and Canada” section of the 1942-43 Motion Picture Almanac. E.M. Loew also ran the Capitol Theatre in Lynn at that time.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on September 9, 2007 at 10:35 am

The Lynn Open Air Theatre opened in either 1937 or 1938. Elmo Benedetto, in an article about Lynn theatres, says “1937”, while an unknown person who compiled a list of Lynn theatres, says “1938”. He also says that it was “on the Lynnway near the General Edwards Bridge”. Both the article and the list were found at the Lynn public library by CT member Barry Goodkin. The Benedetto article has a date “Feb. 17, 1972” on it. Benedetto also states that the Lynn Open Air Theatre, run by E.M. Loew, was still open when he wrote his article.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on September 21, 2009 at 10:47 am

Further to my comments above, I should point out that the date “Feb. 17, 1972” stamped on Elmo Benedetto’s article on Lynn theaters at the Lynn Public Library could have been placed there at the time the article was taken into the library’s collection which may have happened long after he actually wrote it. Who knows, today? It would have been helpful if he had actually typed the current date on the last page of the article when he finished it.

NYozoner on February 14, 2011 at 8:23 pm

780 Lynnway, Lynn, MA 01905

The above address will map acurately to the location of the drive-in, which is currently occupied by another insidious Walmart.

Here is a 1955 aerial photo of the drive-in, courtesy of

ThatsInteresting on September 11, 2016 at 1:09 pm

Using the aerial photo site you can select dates. In 1971 the theatre is still there but who goes to a drive in during the day when an aerial picture would be taken, so it may not be functional. In 1978 it has clearly been replaced.

superglide on July 18, 2017 at 9:00 am

I worked with an old Italian man who ran the projector at the Lynn,Mass drive in theater.we worked for Cefalo and Kiley construction in the Early 70’s… I went there often,and the last movie I saw was Blazing saddles and that may have been the last movie played there… I’m pretty sure it was 1974…

MichaelKilgore on May 17, 2019 at 8:50 pm

Fun note in the Motion Picture Herald from Oct. 9, 1937:

E. M. Loew, circuit theatre owner in New England, is complaining bitterly to police that spectators in boats are forming non-paying audiences at his new Drive-In theatre on a filled-in march site outside of Lynn, Mass. The Lynn police, however, not having a navy, are at a complete loss on how to proceed, and Mr. Loew may be forced to build a navy himself, or at least a string of flatboats. Anyway, he could change the name to the Sail-In theatre.

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