Parkway Drive-In

2001 Boston Road,
Wilbraham, MA 01095

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Parkway Drive-In

Located in North Wilbraham on Boston Road, just over the line from Springfield. The Parkway Drive-In was opened in 1948 with Walt Disney’s “Song of the South” & Johnny Weissmuller in “Tarzan and the Huntress”. By 1955 it was operated by M.R. Zio & Daytz Theatre Enterprises. A motel located next to it had sound piped in from the drive-in. Customers could see the large screen from the comfort of their rooms. The motel advertised “free in-room movies.” This was in the days before cable.

A religious denomination held drive-in services on Sunday mornings. It was closed in 1987 and demolished in 1988. A Home Depot stands on the site of the drive-in today.

Contributed by AlLarkin

Recent comments (view all 8 comments)

michacavan on June 14, 2004 at 6:32 pm

The Parkway was right down the street from our house on Manor Road when I was just a little kid. My Mom and Dad would take my Sister and me to movies there already dressed in our PJ’s. They knew we would be asleep by the middle of the show and it was easier to carry us into our beds that way when we got home. My sister and I would play in the playground area and run back to the car when we saw the movie starting. It is one of the few family memories I have of all four of us. My parents divorce and my Mom’s death have have made the memories of the Parkway even more special.

EdwardShear on December 3, 2004 at 5:33 pm

The Parkway opened in 1948 and closed in 1987. In 1988, it was razed.
It was a large, very well maintained drive-in and was the last one to close in the Springfield area.

rivest266 on September 3, 2012 at 8:02 am

Grand opening ad uploaded.

DavidZornig on February 8, 2017 at 6:51 pm

1976 photo added, courtesy of the below 2008 article about the Parkway and other drive-ins.

Dawain on March 15, 2017 at 10:52 am

I am teaching my AP United States history class about the 1950s. While they are reading a primary source document, I googled Parkway Drive-In. I worked there as a high school student while my dad was stationed at Westover AFB in the early 70s. The wonderful memories flooded back. I loved working for Doris. Our stories of yesteryear are so important for the current generation. Hopefully our childhood memories can have a positive impact on our future generations.

Drive-Ins were so fun. Keep up the memories. Parkway was special to me, not because of the movies, but because of those I worked with.

MichaelKilgore on April 7, 2021 at 7:51 pm

Boxoffice, Sept. 27, 1947: “Grading was started this summer on an open-air theatre in Wilbraham, east of Springfield on the main road to Worcester and Boston. The project will be completed next spring. Thomas Millea of Springfield and David J. Willig are backing the theatre, which will hold 600 cars. Willig operates an open-airer outside Albany.”

davidcoppock on April 8, 2021 at 4:48 am

Is the motel still there?

DavidZornig on April 8, 2021 at 6:12 am

The motel is gone. There is a Home Depot on the site today.

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