Neponset Drive-In

775 Gallivan Boulevard,
Dorchester, MA 02125

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Drive-In Theatre Preservation Society
Drive-In Theatre Preservation Society on March 14, 2016 at 8:07 pm

@just1eagle: Wow! Your description absolutely NAILED the true essence of the golden age Drive-In experience — the magical wonder, amazement, and excitement of movies under the moonlight!!! I was blessed with parents who brought me up Drive-In!!! I aim to recreate the experience that you so treasure as I do! Thank you for your inspiration!!!

Dave Lounder (The Drive-In Guy) IMDb.me/DaLo DaveLounder.org

Kensington, CT

just1eagle
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!

rivest266
rivest266 on May 11, 2013 at 5:21 pm

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

rivest266
rivest266 on May 11, 2013 at 5:20 pm

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

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.

Archie1959
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.

jrvinnh
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.

dickneeds111
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?

dickneeds111
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.

jrvinnh
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!

jrvinnh
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.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on August 20, 2011 at 8:40 am

OK, now my memory is a little hazy- maybe you could see the screen while driving Away from downtown; I do recall that you could clearly see the movie on the screen.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on August 20, 2011 at 8:23 am

Yes, you could see the screen easily while driving toward downtown Boston on the Southeast Expressway. I don’t recall if the “Neponset” name was on the back of the screen, but it’s likely that it was.

JonathanInRandolph
JonathanInRandolph on August 18, 2011 at 3:36 pm

I could be mistaken but i think i recall seeing the back of the screen right along the side of 93 south. I think the words “Neponset Drive In” was in neon lights on the back of the screen. I also think if u drove 93 north and you run into the screen u can view it easily as u drive by. Is this accurate info.? or am i just picturing this?

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on March 28, 2011 at 6:39 pm

held 1350 cars in the late Fifties.It was owned then by,Affiliated.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on August 29, 2010 at 8:16 am

The Mass. Department of Conservation and Recreation and the Boston Natural Areas Network have been showing free movies on summer Thursday evenings at Pope John Paul II park, part of which used to be the Neponset Drive-In.

jrvinnh
jrvinnh on August 26, 2009 at 12:59 pm

I went to this drive-in many times as a child. One thing I remember was that it had a miniature railroad that ran around the outside of the theater. You could sit in the cars in the back and ride.

clairemct
clairemct on March 26, 2009 at 2:40 am

I was wondering if anyone remembers if they tore down Shoals Riverview skating rink to make way for the Drive-in. I don’t remember it that way but many people keep telling me that’s what happened. I remember watching the movie at the drive in from the ladies room window at the skating rink. Was I having a dream? Any help on this would be appreciated. It’s sort of like which came first the chicken or the egg.

DennisJOBrien
DennisJOBrien on January 11, 2007 at 6:09 pm

We loved this drive-in theater when our parents took us here in the 1960’s. It had a long entrance driveway that passed under the expressway, and the neon lights were nice. Years later, after I bought my first car in 1973, I came back here and was dismayed that the sound speakers had been removed and you were expected to listen to the sound on your car radio. This was terrible, because you had to waste the power of your car’s battery for two hours. I never returned, even when it was a flea market.

melodiep
melodiep on October 12, 2006 at 10:42 am

There is a link to a photo

dorchesteratheneum.org

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on May 19, 2006 at 7:51 am

Yes, its entrance gate was on Gallivan Blvd, not Morrissey Blvd; the latter intersected with Gallivan Blvd just to the east of the Drive-In’s location.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on May 19, 2006 at 7:25 am

The screen could be viewed from the adjacent Southeast Expressway. Unfortunately, one disadvantage of its location was having an unfragrant dump, which was sometimes burning, next door.

hondo59
hondo59 on May 19, 2006 at 7:15 am

The beautiful signage for this theater was colorfully done in neon. It was located next to the interstate highway at the Quincy exit.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on May 19, 2006 at 3:46 am

Here’s the official web page for Pope John Paul II Park, which opened in June 2001. The park occupies the sites of both the Drive-In and an adjoining former landfill.

The fictional “Pen Park” in Dennis Lehane’s book Mystic River was based partially on this site.