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Endangered Species: Drive-in Movie Theaters in Upstate New York

Valley Drive In Ad
(Picture of Utica OD, April 1968)

It wasn’t that long ago that there were more than 170 drive-in movie theaters in Upstate New York; today, all but 29 have closed their gates for good.

Two of the outdoor facilities remain open in our area.

The West Rome Drive-In is now a Zurich Cinema and is alive and well at their location on the Rome-Taberg Road in Rome.  The other somewhat local theater is the El Rancho Drive-In on Route 5 in Palatine Bridge between Fort Plain and Canajoharie.

The outdoor choices of drive-in theaters used to be quite plentiful. Here’s a list of some of the theaters that used to feature movies under the stars:

  • Marcy Drive-In
  • South Trenton (North of Don’s Ford)
  • Richfield Springs Drive-In
  • The Valley Drive-In of Little Falls
  • New Hartford Drive-In (Near Toys R Us)
  • Skyler Drive-In (Rt. 5 Schuyler)
Do you have photos or information about these or other area drive-in theaters?  Contact us at  Be sure to SHARE this story in hopes that we can dig up info and vintage photos from these great Mohawk Valley summertime attractions.

View the Photo Gallery below


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