Route 16 Drive-In
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There was definitely a drive-in known as the Starway Drive-In on (what was then?) Route 16 between Dover and Somersworth. It changed its name to the Route 16 some time in the early-1960’s.
The Starway Drive-In, listed under Somersworth, was in the first Motion Picture Almanac list (1950-51) but not the first Theatre Catalog list. Its first Catalog appearance was the 1949-50 edition, listing a capacity of 400 cars and owner James A. Sayer, Jr. It advertised in the Portsmouth Herald as the Starway Drive-In through at least April 7, 1962.
The Motion Picture Almanacs listed the Starway Srive-In (capacity 300) into the 1960’s. In 1965-66, the MPA drive-in list still had Starway Drive-In, but the MPA circuit list showed that Interstate Theatre Corp owned the Route 16 in Somersworth. The MPA drive-in list eventually caught up with the right name, listing the Route 16 (capacity 500 or 300) through 1982. In 1983, the Route 16’s owner changed to T. Whittier. In 1985, it fell off the list.
It seems likely that the Starway / Route 16 was related to the drive-in that J. Frank Moore opened on July 31, 1941, according to issues of The Exhibitor. That drive-in “located on route 16, between Dover and Somersworth” was active enough for owner Moore to be fined for “operating moving pictures without a license”.
Assistance is requested in determining the exact site of the drive-in, plus any links between Moore’s drive-in and the Starway.
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