1881 Sunrise Highway,
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Previously operated by: Associated Prudential Theaters Inc., United Artists Theater Circuit Inc.
The Bayshore-Sunrise Drive-In opened in May 26, 1955 as a single screen theatre with a capacity for 1,500 cars. The opening movies were Fred Astaire in “Daddy Long Legs”, a CinemaScope feature, and Joel McCrea in “Stranger on Horseback”. It was operated by Associated Prudential Theatres Inc.
There were two ticket booths at the entrance which could serve four cars at one time. There was a children’s play area, complete with a ‘Miracle Star Gazer’ motor driven ferris wheel and a merry-go-round. Beneath the 135 feet wide CinemaScope screen were shuffle board courts, and there was a juke box and dance area beside the concession stand.
In the 1970’s the Bayshore-Sunrise Drive-In was twinned and to the day it closed in 1990, it would show first-run movies with a co-feature. This drive-in was well-maintained pretty much to the end, unlike the fate other UA drive-ins had.
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Recent comments (view all 84 comments)
This theater and the Bay Shore Cinema actually did make it to the 90’s- I don’t know why there should be so many inaccuracies in the opening theater descriptions on this site(I quit working there in 1987- so I don’t think it closed in 1985!). I’ll look up my old invoices, but the Home Depot on the site opened around 1991-1992. It was the last Drive-In in Suffolk County, that’s for sure, but was outlived by it’s Nassau County UA counterpart, the Westbury Drive-In by many years.
The amusement park with the bi-planes was actually right outside of the Bay Shore Farmers Market (not by Peter Pan Diner) on the corner of Brentwood Road and Sunrise Highway. I did ride on the planes and it was great.
This theatre definitely remained open beyond 1985. I graduated high school in 1990 and I used to go to this drive-in with my HS gf regularly. I only started driving in 1987 so it may have even made it into the 90’s. There’s a Home Depot and a Best Buy there now. Progress isn’t always progress…
I lived across the street from the drive-in. We used to watch movies from our pool deck and tune into the sound cause we were close enough to catch the signal. The drive-in closed completely in the winter of 1990. After that they had fairs, and carnivals for a short period in the vacant lot, and then home depot opened in late 1992 . Later Shop-Rite opened, and eventually they built an apartment complex for seniors. I miss the way my neighborhood used to look before the drive-in closed.
Guadzilla-The Best Buy was a farmers market, then a waldbaums before it became what it is now. The shopping center with Toy R' Us and farmer’s market was there before I was born, I have no clue when it was even built. Farmer’s market was probably there in the 50’s.
This theater was my HORROR hangout! I saw so many great films, like, Creepshow, Day of the Dead, Without Warning and so many more… Great times. indeed.
Correction on the closing of the Sunrise Hwy Bay Shore Drive In.. It closed in 1990 not 1985..
I remember seeing , Back to the Future part 2 and 3 there.
Of all the initial Prudential Drive Ins this was the largest until they built the three All Weather’s. Although the Cinema hard top was adjacent to the drive in it did not appear that they were trying to play catch up to the All Weather concept since the movies show in the two venues were always different.
Opened on 26/5/1955.
The site is now Home Depot and Shop Rite Plaza.