Sunrise Drive-In

750 W. Sunrise Highway,
Valley Stream, NY 11581

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Sunrise Drive-In

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This was one of Long Island’s most popular drive in theaters because it was right over the city line. Cars would line up for miles to see first run double and sometimes triple features.

Opened on August 10, 1938, the Sunrise Drive-In later had a huge curved screen and the side that faced the street was covered in gaudy neon. It also had a big play park and concession stand. By 1955 it was being operated by Michael Redstone. The theater was closed and torn down in 1979, when Redstone built the Sunrise multiplex.

Contributed by RobertR

Recent comments (view all 67 comments)

robboehm on April 1, 2011 at 2:32 am

Thanks for the clarification. You’re not the only one to go on hiatus. We’ve “lost” Lost Memory among others.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on April 1, 2011 at 3:28 am

Seriously? I was going to try and contact him… lost his email a while back. Hope he’s doing well. I think that guy has made a comment (or 2 or 100) on just about every theater listed on this site!

AlAlvarez on April 1, 2011 at 4:57 am

Welcome back, Ed. We missed you.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on April 5, 2011 at 10:00 pm

Hey Al… So, it seems that both Lost Memory and Warren G Harris are no longer contributing to Cinema Treasures. That’s almost unthinkable. I don’t see Warren posting anything after June of 2009 (save for a brief return as W. G. Harris in September of 2009) and looks like Lost Memory slammed the door shut on CT rather angrily in November of 2009 on the Columbia Drive In page. Losing the two of them must have slowed posting activity on the site to a veritable crawl! I was at least relieved to read on the Ridgewood Theater page that Lost Memory had made contact with another CT member in July 2010 to let them know that he was alive and well. Anyone else wander off since then?

Sorry to go off-topic… but then, actually seems rather fitting to do so, considering some of the acrimonious history between these two former CT confributors. I’ll miss Lost’s contributions and great sense of humor in these pages. And while I often found myself at odds with Warren’s rather imperious nature, I’ll miss his significant contributions as well. I wish them both well and hope that we haven’t heard the last from either one!

AlAlvarez on April 5, 2011 at 10:47 pm

Ed, I do miss Lost Memory. He was a true loss.

I suspect Warren is posting under an alias you will soon recognize.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on April 6, 2011 at 1:13 am

I’ll keep my eyes peeled, Al. Thanks for the heads-up.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on April 6, 2011 at 3:37 pm

Back to the nominal topic, found these photos/images on a Facebook group called “I grew up in Valley Stream 1970-2000” and purloined them for use on this site. Some of these images may have already been submitted here, but I don’t believe any of those links are still working, so here they are anew:

Daytime shot

‘Gaudy Neon’ at night

1950’s mailer?

Opening Ad

That last image of the opening day ad is most likely the same one from the Long Island Press that Warren posted back on November 14, 2007. I find that little mailer from the 1950’s to be interesting. I suppose with the competition from television, the folks at Sunrise took their advertising campaign door to door via the USPS. I wonder if the Sunrise ever really ran a true VistaVision presentation?

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on April 6, 2011 at 3:41 pm

Introductory comments up top might be updated to reflect exact opening date of August 10, 1938, and correct time of closure and demolition to 1979, sometime after the run of “The Exorcist” re-release as detailed above by KingBiscuits on January 16, 2010.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on April 6, 2011 at 11:54 pm

enjoyed some of the great stories,especially the one about car-speakers.

buick8 on June 5, 2013 at 8:09 pm

I remember seeing “Night of the living Dead” there. Had to be 1969. Also “Rocky”, “Let’s scare Jessica to death”, The Planet of the Apes. and “The new Centurions”. I believe my brother may have hidden in the trunk one time to reduce costs. Had a nice Playground there for us kiddies. That theater was featured in the Movie “The Lords of Flatbush” and I would not be surprised if it was actually shown there as well. Then they had the Flea Market there also.

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