Per Governor Cuomo’s May 11 mandate, New York State drive-in theaters can reopen beginning May 15. Here’s where to go to catch a flick outdoors in the Hudson Valley.
An entertainment favorite of bygone days, drive-in theaters recapture that retro appeal of watching a flick under the stars. So stretch out your legs, dine in your car — on popcorn or an entire meal — and tune the radio to just the right station. You’re in for an evening of movie magic in the Hudson Valley.
In order to promote social distancing, Fair Oaks is limiting the number of cars permitted onsite to 120 at Screen 1 and 80 at Screen 2. Tickets run $5 per person, $20 per carload, or $40 for a family pack that includes a jumbo popcorn, four sodas or water, and one box of candy. No passenger vans or buses are currently allowed, and all attendees must bring masks. Visit the drive-in’s Facebook page for movie screenings and updates.
Owned by the folks who run the popular Four Brothers restaurant chain, Four Brothers is a one-stop shop for movie nostalgia. The theater is open seven nights a week, rain or shine, and runs double features that lean in the family, comedy, and drama directions. Uniquely, Four Brothers has its own EV vehicle charging stations, along with a delightful menu of concession food available for online ordering. Pets are welcome, and can take advantage of the large onsite litter box. As for additional entertainment, the venue boasts a pergola, a family swing, a mini golf course (not currently available for use), an airstream, and a food truck.
For ticket sales during the COVID-19 pandemic, Four Brothers asks that customers purchase tickets online, then present them to the ticket booth at the venue. All children’s tickets must be purchased at the booth so the staff can verify ages.
Located in Greenville, the eponymous outdoor theater has been part of the Hudson Valley community since 1959. In addition to showing weekend film screenings, the spot also houses a snack shack and beer garden. Based on a traditional German biergarten, the site can accommodate more than 200 cars and features “locally produced beer, wine, and spirits, plenty of outdoor seating, and a stage for live music,” says co-owner Dwight Grimm, who with his wife, Leigh Van Swall, bought the theater in 2015. The couple focus on independent films, shorts, and community works. Items sold at the concession stand, such as nachos, ice cream sandwiches, and popsicles, are mostly locally sourced.
After working on “Best Practice Procedures” to keep guests and staff safe, Greenville Drive-In is now open, with tickets available for purchase online only. Parking spaces are assigned, and visitors can pre-select online or at the box office. As for tickets, they run $8 for general admission, $20 for three tickets, or $24 for four-plus tickets. All attendees in a ticket bundle must be in one car. The concessions menu has been shortened, and masks are required.
“It’s not a movie, it’s a movie experience” is the tagline of this theater. Located between Catskill and Coxsackie, it has been in business since 1951. Four big screens each show a different double feature every night. If you love popular titles and the latest releases, this is the spot for you.
The Babcock family behind the theater will continue to operate Hi-Way for its 69th season, although the owners, who are planning to retire, are currently looking for a buyer to take over in the coming years.
To ensure safety during the COVID-19 crisis, Hi-Way operates at a lower capacity and encourages visitors to arrive early to ensure everyone gets a spot. All four screens are running, and masks must be worn when leaving a vehicle.
Averill Park, 518.283.4425
In business for more than 65 years, the Hollywood reopens with strict guidelines in light of the COVID-19 crisis. Attendees must bring masks, and the theater will not screen a secondary feature so as to limit the need for bathroom usage. Admission is limited to ensure social distancing, and same-night re-admission is not allowed. While the concession stand will be open, customers must limit visits to one person per vehicle. Patrons are allowed two lawn chairs per vehicle.
The Hollywood has a lengthy history in the Hudson Valley, with origins that extend to 1952. Nowadays, it holds close to 400 cars, with a 36′ x 88′ screen for local viewing pleasure.
Hyde Park, 845.229.4738
With 12 acres and room for more than 600 cars at capacity, this Route 9 establishment has been a crowd pleaser since 1950. Discount books are available to catch all the best steals. Along with pretzels and fried dough, the concession stand sells Black Angus burgers and cappuccinos. For updates on showtimes and COVID-19 protocol, visit the drive-in’s Facebook page. The theater has a “no mask, no entry” policy.
For Albany-area residents, Jericho Drive-In is the only place to be come summer. The Capital Region theater is also home to Twist Ice Cream Shoppe, which is perhaps best known for the “Jericho Sundae,” an over-the-top concoction of chocolate and vanilla twist soft-serve layered with bananas, peanut butter sauce, caramel, and hot fudge sauce, then topped with nuts, chocolate sprinkles, and a Reese’s peanut butter cup.
To keep everyone safe during the COVID-19 outbreak, the drive-in limits capacity to 50 percent, with tickets available online. Online ordering for food is available, and customers will receive a text when their order is ready for pickup. Chairs and blankets are not currently allowed, and masks must be worn outside the car.
Established in 1955 — and run by the same family that owns the Hyde Park Drive-In — Overlook has a screen that’s as tall as a six-story building. As many as 750 cars can park to catch the nightly double feature — especially during peak season. For updates on showtimes and COVID-19 protocol, visit the drive-in’s Facebook page. The theater’s policy is “no mask, no entry.”
To ensure safe operations, Warwick Drive-In limits the number of cars onsite. It’s also working on an app to allow visitors to order concession snacks from their phones to eliminate lines. Everyone must maintain six feet of distancing and wear masks when outside vehicles. Only one person per vehicle is allowed at the concession stand at a time.
Established in 1950, the Warwick Drive-In continues to show top flicks to movie-loving Hudson Valley patrons in rain or shine.This plein-air theater runs up to six flicks on three screens, seven nights a week. What’s more, hungry patrons can order freshly prepared hot food, like popcorn chicken and nachos, along with the usual snack repertoire.