Shirley Drive-In

999 Montauk Highway,
Shirley, NY 11967

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Shirley Drive-In

The Shirley Drive-In opened on July 1, 1953 with Joel McCrea in “The Lone Hand” & Kathryn Grayson in “The Desert Song”. It was operated by United Artists and then by Associated Prudential Theatres. It was the last drive-in in Suffolk.

Contributed by RobertR

Recent comments (view all 20 comments)

AWF on October 13, 2006 at 10:47 am

It was such a disappointment to me when the Shirley Drive-In closed. I spent many nights there as a kid with my family and later as a teenager/young adult. The whole vibe – watching movies outdoors, hitting the playground before and between shows, the highly questionable hot dogs at the concession, the old metal speakers hanging from your driver-side window – harkened back to a simpler time and is gone from today’s movie experience.

In response to Bway’s post, the concession stand was located approximately in the middle of the property, which would put it in the center of the South Port parking lot, facing Waldbaums with Blockbuster to the right and FYE (or whatever the music store is now) to the left. The building that housed the concession stand also served as the projection booth. The playground was directly behind it.

The drive-in was fenced in on 3 sides – left, right, and behind the screen. Beyond the fence on the right were paths that led thru the woods (which could be accessed by going behind what is now the tire place to the right of the Southport entrance) and ended on a dirt hill that had an excellent view of the screen. You could even hear the movies from all the speakers hanging on their posts and open car windows. This perk serviced many penniless teenage nights for my friends and I.

Too bad all the good stuff seems to always fade away …

oxen on October 29, 2006 at 5:16 am

does anyone know what was there before the drive-in ?

AWF on November 20, 2006 at 10:49 am

To answer your question OX, here’s a link to a great site with tons of info about the Mastic-Shirley area and excellent photos of the drive-in back in the day. Seems that it was some kind of horse ranch in the 40s-50s!

View link

jpark377 on March 31, 2007 at 3:31 pm

Robert R-
The intro needs some minor amending. The last drive-in operating in Suffolk was the Bay Shore Sunrise Twin Drive-In (closed in 1990, with the Bay Shore Cinema). In Nassau, I’m glad the Westbury Drive-In held on as long as it did (closing 1998), but it would have been nice if it never closed. The kids of today have no idea what a drive-in movie theater is. A real shame.

NYozoner on January 5, 2008 at 12:56 pm

The link above is no longer working. Can anyone repost this picture, or email me a copy of the pic to


Bway on April 19, 2009 at 9:50 am

Here’s an aeiral image of the old drive in. The screen would have been at top, where the Stop N Shop is now:

View link

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on January 28, 2011 at 5:27 pm

It parked 800 cars and in the Late Fifties it was a Associated Prudential theatre.

robboehm on February 5, 2014 at 3:37 pm

Contrary to the 9/12/2008 posting the actual opening date of the Drive-In was July 1, 1953. I just came upon an ad which I’ll scan and put in the photos area.

robboehm on March 21, 2015 at 12:09 pm

July 1, 1953 opening ad from Patchogue Advance of June 25th added.

davidcoppock on April 13, 2019 at 3:59 am

Opened with “The lone hand"and "Desert song”.

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