Neponset Drive-In

775 Gallivan Boulevard,
Dorchester, MA 02125

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Neponset Exterior

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The Neponset Drive-In was on Morrissey Boulevard in Dorchester for years. It opened September 14, 1950 and was a huge local hangout for teens in the 1950’s to the 1970’s. It became a flea market in the 1980’s and then vacant until the City of Boston turned the site into Pope John Paul II Park around the turn of the century.

It was pay per head so I have great memories of sneaking in with trunkloads of teens in cars with the back seat filled with lawn chairs. I’m sure they never suspected.

Contributed by Jeff Rogers

Recent comments (view all 23 comments)

jrvinnh on August 22, 2011 at 12:17 pm

At the end of its life the owners of the Neponset Drive-In turned to showing adult movies. As a result they had to put up a wall to block the view of the screen from cars passing on the highway.

jrvinnh on August 22, 2011 at 12:21 pm

One thing I remember from the Neponset Drive-In was that I saw the movie “McHale’s Navy” there. It was a spin off from the TV show, which was a favorite of mine. One thing I remember vividly was that I still only had black and white TV at the time and when the movie started at the drive-in and everything was in color it blew my mind!

dickneeds111 on November 16, 2011 at 1:08 pm

Sholes Riverview was not torn down for the Drive-in. We used to go skating in the afternoon and come back at night for movies. At this time I no longer lived in Dorchester but had moved to Scituate. They had the 2nd biggest screen(Cinemascope) in the aqrea. The Avon Drive had the biggest screen.

dickneeds111 on November 16, 2011 at 1:10 pm

I don,t remember a wall being buily to block the screen. How high was it. It had to be higher than the Green Monster to block the view?

jrvinnh on November 16, 2011 at 9:21 pm

Regarding the wall, which was actually more of a fence. Remember that the ground level that the drive-in was at was well below the level of the South-East Expressway, which is elevated at that point. You can still see that when you drive by there today. So when you would drive by, you could only see the top 1/3rd of the screen. As I recall, the fence was mounted on top of the guard rail of the expressway. As such, the fence was only something like 10 feet high, which was high enough to block the view of the top part of the screen from the expressway.

Archie1959 on December 6, 2011 at 7:15 pm

I remember seeing the Beatles Help along with Jerry Lewis in The Nutty Profesor as a child for a double feature. I also remember it was playing for two weeks.

Drive-In 54
Drive-In 54 on December 21, 2012 at 4:13 am

You can tell they put the Cinema-Scope screen in front of the flat screen.

rivest266 on May 11, 2013 at 5:20 pm

This opened on September 14th, 1950. I uploaded its grand opening ad here.

rivest266 on May 11, 2013 at 5:21 pm

Also the reopening with the CinemaScope screen on July 2nd, 1954.

just1eagle on October 7, 2015 at 11:04 am

It’s funny, I didn’t realize it had a 1,350 car capacity. Though, as I kid I remember it being ‘busy.’ My favorite part was that, as a younger kid, you could wear your pj’s and have pillows and blankets. I think there’s a Country song with the lyrics, to the effect, that it’s not a different time, but a different world…I have to agree. I miss it, but what really is sad is that the memories that you and I hold(about this one place)—the depth and beauty of them—cannot be shared with kids NOW! ‘Innocent fun,’ the term almost seems archaic. No time is ever perfect, but I’m glad I was a child in those times. Be well!

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