Loomis's Delevan Drive-In

11771 Route 16,
Delevan, NY 14042

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Loomis's Delevan Drive-In

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Develan Drive-In was opened Steptember 24, 1959 and could acommodate 400 cars.. I first discovered the Delevan Drive-In about 20 years ago. It was a single screen then and remained so until, I believe, 2005. During its single screen era it accommodated 500 cars. Today, with two screens, the drive-in accomodates a total of 550 cars.

Although seeing a movie at a drive-in is a totally different experience than at a regular theatre, each has some advantages.

The Loomis’s Delevan Drive-In is your typical semi-rural drive in—no fancy screen enclosure or neoned entrance. However, in the 20 or so times I’ve attended, it’s always been a pleasant movie experience.

Both screens have radio sound — screen #1 has both AM and FM transmission while Screen #2 has only FM so remember, if you’re driving the 1950’s classic, go to screen #1.

A further enticement to visit the drive-in would be its fairly extensive and reasonably priced snack bar. The $6.00 per person admission for two (usually first-run) films also helps motivate.

The Western New York area is a must for drive-in enthusiasts — the Buffalo area alone has about six or seven operating drive-ins.

Contributed by Richard Grows, Lost Memory

Recent comments (view all 6 comments)

richardg
richardg on January 1, 2007 at 1:55 pm

The official website for the Loomis' Delevan Drive-In is:
www.develandrivein.net
There are some photo’s on the site.

PGlenat
PGlenat on January 1, 2007 at 4:58 pm

This theatre is already listed on CT as the Delevan Drive-In, owned by Richard Loomis. I wasn’t even sure it was still operating as a theatre since I never saw any films advertised when I drove by. It has been used as an outdoor flea market on weekends for a number of years.

richardg
richardg on January 2, 2007 at 1:26 pm

Gosh, wrong again-pictures are on drive-in.com. Do a zip code search with 14042 and Loomis' Drive-In will be one of your options. Evidently, even when spelled correctly, the website listed on their brochure doesn’t work.

Chris1982
Chris1982 on September 29, 2014 at 12:17 am

Official website Closed for the season and hipe to convert Screen 1 to digital by 2015

Chris1982
Chris1982 on September 29, 2014 at 12:19 am

Their website lists it as Loomis’s Delevan Drive-In

NeonMichael
NeonMichael on October 19, 2017 at 9:45 am

A contemporary article in the Arcade (NY) Herald, hosted by NewYorkDriveIns.com, said that Opening Day for the Delevan was Sept. 24, 1959. It was built by Elgin Boylan and had 400 speakers for 400 cars. HistoricAerials.com shows it under construction(!) earlier in 1959 and in operation in 1961.

Here’s another illustration of the fallibility of the International Motion Picture Almanac. The Delevan wasn’t listed in the 1961 edition, and the 1963-66 editions showed it with a capacity of 365 cars, owned by “Al Boylain”.

The 1978 MPA changed the owner to “Mendola, G.P.” (NYDI says that was Gasper “Pat” Mendola) and corrected the capacity to 400, and that’s how it stayed through its final list in 1988.

NYDI says the Delevan was later operated by Macy Cohen & Phil Leiffer, then later yet by Ron and Mary Sahr. A 1992 Springville Journal article referred to it as Sahr’s Delevan Drive-In Theater.

Don Loomis and his wife Josie bought the drive-in in 2000. Aerial photos show that he added a second screen between 2002 and 2006, matching the 2005 note above. Loomis had converted one screen to digital projection, but when Josie was diagnosed with cancer, they made the decision to sell.

Dr. Michael DiBella, an emergency room physician, bought the drive-in in the 2014-2015 off-season after Loomis listed it on eBay. DiBella changed the name to the Delevan Twin Drive In. (For some reason, his name is spelled Mickel on the drive-in’s web site, but it’s Michael everywhere else including all references to his day job in Buffalo.)

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