There’s something new in Amenia; yet, it’s wonderfully old-fashioned. Bucking the decades-long nationwide trend of drive-in movie theaters closing up shop, John Stefanopoulos of the popular Four Brothers Restaurant group last summer opened the Amenia Drive-In directly adjacent to one his eateries. “Our demographic up here is varied,” says Stefanopoulos. “There are lots of families, lots of older folks that remember drive-ins from the ’50s or ’60s when they were popular. This gives families something to do. They come an hour before the show and play Frisbee and soccer in the field. There’s a playground for the kids and even a dog park.”
As soon as you arrive at the drive-in, which has a 56-foot-wide screen, your windshield is promptly cleaned. After getting settled into a space, you have the choice of munching on goodies from the concession stand (which stocks ice cream, candy, milkshakes, sandwiches, and of course popcorn) or ordering a full meal from the Four Brothers Restaurant, which will deliver directly to your car.
“It’s been well-received by both locals and people coming up from New York. It was even featured on the Food Network,” says Stefanopoulos of his new venture. “People have been calling for months trying to find out when we’re opening.” Lucky for their adoring fans, the Amenia Drive-In begins its season on May 2. $7 adults, children under 10 free. 845-373-8178; www.ameniadrivein.com
In business for more than 60 years, this drive-in can accommodate up to 400 cars; customers can watch contemporary films on their 36-foot high, 88-foot-wide screen, complete with a Dolby digital sound system. Double features run every night of the week — and don’t forget the fully stocked snack bar. $9 adults, $5 children. 518-283-4425; www.hollywooddrivein.com
With 12 acres and room for 670 cars, this drive-in buzzes all season long. Bring along your Frisbee or soccer ball and utilize the space beneath the screen. $9 adults; $6 children ages 5-11. 845-229-4738; www.hydeparkdrivein.com
With the largest screen in the tristate area, this longtime favorite can pack in up to 750 vehicles at its nightly shows. Don’t miss popular treats like mozzarella sticks and funnel cakes at the snack shack. Or stop by nearby Debra T’s Cafe for some of their famous ice cream before the show. $9 adults; $6 children ages 5-11. 845-452-3445; www.overlookdrivein.com
Six different films on three screens are shown here seven nights a week. The concession stand serves hot, freshly cooked food, as well as candy and snacks. $10 adults; $6 seniors & children ages 4-11. 845-986-4440; www.warwickdrivein.com
Coxsackie’s “cinema under the stars” has been in business since 1951; they’ve even kept the original marquee. Complete with four big screens, they offer double features every summer night. Call for prices. 518-731-8672; www.hiwaydrivein.com
Editor’s note: As of press time, we were told Fair Oaks would reopen for another season, but alas, it was not meant to be. We’ll keep the original text from our print story here as a tribute to one of our favorite local outdoor theaters. Farewell, Fair Oaks!
Despite a previous announcement stating they were closing for the 2014 season, the Fair Oaks is back for another summer! Don’t miss the well-stocked snack bar offering hamburgers, popcorn chicken, and sausage and peppers. $9 adults; $6 children under 11. 845-361-5774; www.thefairoaksdrivein.com