Riverdale Drive-In

935 Riverdale Street,
West Springfield, MA 01089

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Riverdale Drive-In

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The Riverdale Drive-In opened in May 27, 1950 on Route 5/Riverdale Street. It was part of the E.M. Loew chain. It had a medium size theater marquee sign along Route 5 and a dirt road leading to a small cashier booth. The screen was very long and behind it was the dike that ran beside the Connecticut River.

It was closed in 1967, and demolished in 1986 for the building of the Riverdale Plaza Shops. Unlike other drive-ins whose screens were hid from the main road, one could watch the movie from Route 5 which it directly faced.

Contributed by Edward Shear

Recent comments (view all 7 comments)

michacavan
michacavan on June 14, 2004 at 6:16 pm

A friend of my Dad’s bought the neon sign from this drive in. Last I heard he lived Mission Hills California. I don’t know if he took the sign out there with him or not.

bamqxyx
bamqxyx on June 17, 2005 at 3:43 pm

This was a typical drive in of the period. It included a refreshment stand and a playground. I recall playing in my pajamas at twilight before the cartoon which preceeded the feature started.

AlLarkin
AlLarkin on January 23, 2006 at 3:30 pm

Originally farmland. Great irrigation being next to the Connecticut River. Then a small airport followed by the drive-in.

NYozoner
NYozoner on February 15, 2011 at 2:26 pm

Here is a 1971 aerial photo of the drive-in, courtesy of HistoricAerials.com.

rivest266
rivest266 on September 10, 2011 at 11:25 pm

This opened on May 27th, 1950. Ad posted here.

spectrum
spectrum on January 18, 2016 at 3:17 pm

The Riverdale Drive-in closed in the late 1970’s, and by the 1990’s, the space had been redeveloped with various small office and retail buildings. It was located immediately behind the Sack Palace 1-2 and across the street from Showcase Cinemas.

rvrinsea
rvrinsea on August 12, 2017 at 5:36 pm

As someone who lived in the area as a youth, E.M. Loew’s Riverdale Drive-In closed in 1967 to make way for E.M Loew’s Palace Theater (see separate entry). All mention of the Riverdale Shop’s etc. are to the North of the E.M. Loews property. Originally the location housed a Topp’s department store. Today there is a Costco and the aforementioned Riverdale Shops.

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