Johnny All-Weather Drive-In

1001 Sunrise Highway,
Copiague, NY 11726

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Back of the Screen, Circa 1982

The All-Weather Drive-In was opened on April 20, 1957 with Deborah Kerr in “Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison”. This was one of those drive-in theatres that also had an indoor cinema where they ran the same movie. Near the end the 1,200-seat indoor cinema, known as the Copiague Theatre, was playing different films, usually grind double features, then closed it totally. UA ran this place into the ground–the last summer the screen was so dirty you could hardly see the film. It closed on September 3, 1984 with Bo Derek in “Bolero” & Clint Eastwood in “Tightrope”.

A Home Depot home improvement store now stands on the site.

Contributed by RobertR

Recent comments (view all 60 comments)

davidcoppock
davidcoppock on May 12, 2017 at 6:58 am

Why was it called Johnny All Weather?

robboehm
robboehm on February 1, 2019 at 1:44 pm

The overview is not totally accurate. When Prudential built this, and two other All Weather Drive Ins (the Patchogue Sunrise and the Smithtown, the same film played indoors and out, albeit at different times, regardless of the weather. It was only in the 1980s when operated by UA that it was not uncommon for two different films to be shown (actually three since the drive in portion always had a double feature).

MichaelKilgore
MichaelKilgore on May 5, 2019 at 6:26 pm

According to the April 22, 1957 issue of Motion Picture Daily, the grand opening of the All-Weather Theatre was “Saturday,” making it April 20, 1957.

robboehm
robboehm on May 5, 2019 at 8:49 pm

NeonMichael that assumption is correct as verified by the opening ad which appears in the photo section.

74plymouth
74plymouth on February 29, 2020 at 9:08 pm

last listing from the new York magazine sep. 3 1984 bolero & tightrope

robboehm
robboehm on March 1, 2020 at 11:46 am

Home Depot now there.

davidcoppock
davidcoppock on October 4, 2020 at 1:50 am

The site is now a shopping plaza anchored by Home Depot and Target. There is a Red Lobster on the site where the screen used to be. Why the name Johnny?

robboehm
robboehm on October 4, 2020 at 2:20 pm

All the Prudential “All Weather” Drive-Ins (Smithtown, Johnny, Patchogue) started out with one screen inside and one outside, both playing the same features and not differentiating the name. As time went on and business slowed the indoor and outdoor theaters showed different films. The Patchogue one shut down the drive in, added additional screens, and was rebranded as the Patchogue-Sunrise.

Except for the 100 in Melville which was operated by Century, the Sunrise in Valley Stream which was operated by Redstone and the Westbury which was operated by Skouras, the balance of the Long Island Drive-Ins were operated by Prudential: 5th Avenue (Bay Shore); Bay Shore – Sunrise; Rocky Point; Coram; Skyway (Greenport); Massapequa; Hempstead Turnpike (Bethpage); Flanders (Riverhead); Shirley; Hamptons (Bridgehampton); Commack.

Prudential built a hardtop theater, the Cinema, next to the Bay Shore – Sunrise but always showed separate films at the two venues. The Bay Shore – Sunrise was later twinned. The Westbury triplexed.

All are now history.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on October 4, 2020 at 2:29 pm

One of the ads in the photo section, “RETURN OF THE DRAGON”, shows the indoor theatre listed as the “Copiague Indoor”.

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