Deer Lake Drive-In

Route 61,
Orwigsburg, PA 17961

600 cars

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Deer Lake Drive-In

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The Deer Lake Drive-In closed around 1996. This single screen drive-in had a capacity for 600 cars. It was for sale in 2005. Anyone have any updates on its current status?

Contributed by Lost Memory

Recent comments (view all 15 comments)

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on November 11, 2006 at 11:50 am

Do they make you run five miles at six in the morning before they serve breakfast?

imafarmgirl
imafarmgirl on November 11, 2006 at 2:24 pm

LOL! I don’t know about that, Ken. They probably wouldn’t do too much business if they did make you run! I can tell you it is now called “Butterfly and Bee Bed and Breakfast”. It is made up of numerous camp-type log cabins…quite quaint. They are the original from when Ali trained. His family would stay in them when he was in the area.

bluecat158
bluecat158 on December 27, 2006 at 12:58 pm

Passed by there yesterday… The trees surrounding the lot have been cleared and there’s a pile of rubble where (I’m guessing) the consession stand once stood. Screen is still there and is much more prominent with all the trees gone :) There was a bulldozer on site and a sign for a construction crew by the road.

Cosmopolite
Cosmopolite on June 28, 2008 at 4:44 am

From Republican-Herald (Pottsville, PA)
Saturday, June 28, 2008

The last remaining piece of the Deer Lake Drive-In Theatre is slowly disappearing.

For the last few weekends, a third party for property owner Forino Corp. LP, Reading, who wished to not be named, has been removing the screen and says the structure will be entirely down in a few weeks.

Once the site of a thriving drive-in movie theater built in the late 1950s, the property has been vacant and unused since the mid-1990s.

Forino plans to develop 108 single-family homes on the site, according to Ken Schnader, project manager for Forino.

Forino bought the property in December 2003.

At the last West Brunswick Township Board of Supervisors meeting, Forino was granted a time extension on preliminary plans for the project, township secretary Patricia Reazor said.

Schnader said they hope the final plans will be approved by December.

The third party removing the screen said he is planning to donate a portion of the scrap metal from the movie screen to local Boy Scout troops.

A number of groups have tried to restore the drive-in over the years. Joseph B. McDade and Kevin J. Moxley, both of Langhorne, unsuccessfully attempted to get West Brunswick Township to grant a variance to allow them to operate the theater in 2002.

Under the township’s regulations for that site, a drive-in operation is not allowed, but the Deer Lake Drive-In, which was already there before the ordinance was created, was “grandfathered.” The site then closed for several years and could not reopen without a variance.

sfriedman001
sfriedman001 on December 8, 2009 at 2:51 pm

My father, Bernard Friedman, was the original builder and owner, with a partner whose name I forget, of the Deer Lake Drive-in. As a young boy I remember the building and the opening of the Drive-in. My father and his partner also owned the Pottsville Drive-in. I don’t know the date that the drive in was built but it had to be in the mid 50’s. I remember spending many weekend nights at the Deer Lake Drive-in and also remember spending many hours during the weekend helping to clean the grounds. Hope this is of interest to someone. Just wanted to fill in a little history.

markp
markp on December 8, 2009 at 5:05 pm

I would always go up rte. 61 to Shamokin to visit a good friend of mine, and always said how I wished this Drive-in could be re-opened. Shame that its gone.

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on May 16, 2010 at 12:15 pm

Maybe Mike Rogers has some info on this drive-in.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on May 16, 2010 at 2:14 pm

Tlsloews.must have opened after 1956.Late 50’s like the article stated.

jwmovies
jwmovies on September 25, 2012 at 8:09 am

Approx. address for this drive-in was 1129 Centre Turnpike.

DougD
DougD on November 6, 2012 at 5:04 am

Pottsville Republican Herald – November 5, 2012

A residential development and commercial area are planned for the site of the former Deer Lake Drive-In along Route 61.

“The 110 single-family homes (are) probably about two years out ‘til they start construction on those,” Kirk Fanelli, vice president of Fanelli Group Properties, said last week.

Fanelli is developing 15 acres of the 60-acre site for commercial purposes.

The two-story homes will be 2,000 to 2,500 square feet. Although he didn’t know a precise cost, he said they might be in the $175,000 to $200,000 range.

Two businesses, Union Bank and Trust Co. and Geisinger-Orwigsburg, have signed 15-year leases for locations at the site, Fanelli said, adding that talks are ongoing with other potential businesses, which he declined to name.

The Union Bank site will be about 1 acre. The Geisinger Medical Center site will be about 3 acres, with the actual building about 17,000 square feet, “almost three times the size of the current facility in town,” Fanelli said.

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