Maine Drive-ins

Maine is the only state in the United States whose name
has only one syllable, and it is the only state that shares its
borders with only one other American state (New Hampshire).
Maine lies farther northeast than any other state and its capitol
(Augusta) is the most eastern capital city in the United States, while
West Quoddy Head, Maine, is the most easterly point in the United States.

Maine is interesting historically: America's first sawmill was established
here, near York in 1623. The first naval battle of the Revolutionary War
was fought off the coast of Maine, near Machos in 1775. The very last
soldier to die of wounds received in the Civil War was from Maine
(Joshua L. Chamberlain). And America's first female presidential
candidate (Senator Margaret Chase Smith) was also from Maine.

The Pine Tree State was also one of the first Drive-in states,
with the opening of the Saco Drive-in Theatre in July of 1939,
coincident also with the wondrous 1939 New York Worlds Fair.

The Avenue of the Patriots at the 1939 WORLDS FAIR

Thirty-nine is when it all began for Maine's Drive-ins
and thirty-nine is where it would end .. within 15 years
of that first opening, Maine peaked as a Drive-in state,
with 39 outdoor cinemas in operation. Since the heyday
of the Drive-in Theatre, 87% of Maine's Drive-ins have
gone dark or been demolished. Among those that remain
in operation is the Saco - the very first one that opened.
Below are all of Maine's remaining Drive-in Theatres:

  • Bridgton (Cumberland County) Maine
    Bridgton Drive-in:  207-647-8666
    located on Route 302 (40 mins from Portland)

    Originally built in 1961 and under same ownership since 1971,
    the Bridgton had added a second screen in their first season
    of the New Millenium. Their season runs May thru September;
    screening a pair of double features nitely, and using an FM radio
    broadcast for delivering the movies' soundtrack.  Admission:
    adults $6 per person; kids $4 aged 11 and under. You find
    the Drive-in 2.5 miles outside the village (Portland side).

  • Madawaska (Aroostook County) Maine
    Skylight Drive-in:  207-728-7583
    Upper 11th Avenue (off Route 1)

    Although the telephone number was disconnected for
    the Skylight for a while there (as previously reported),
    it is now very much open  for Season 2001. Which is
    a good thing; because among other things, we'd like
    to point-out that the single screen 300-car Skylight
    is America's northernmost Drive-in .. it is actually
    north of Montreal (nor'east), on the American side,
    and actually within walking distance of Canada.
    And speaking of geography .. the Skylight is also
    just off Route 1, the east coast equivalent of ol'
    historic Route 66, and Maine is also one of the
    few places where you can still get a sense and a
    resemblance of what it was once like to travel it.

  • Portland (Cumberland County) Maine
    see:  Westbrook, Maine

  • Saco (York County) Maine
    Saco Drive-in:  207-284-1016
    located at 969 Portland Road (Route 1)

    * Oldest of Maine's Drive-ins (July 1939) and the
    second-oldest of America's operating Drive-ins;
    (the oldest one is Shankweiler's in Orefield, PA).
    The Saco has a capacity for 500 cars and their
    season runs May - September, screening double
    features. Adm: $10/couple ($2.50 per add'l person).
    Gates open at 7:30PM and the show starts at Dusk.

  • Skowhegan (Somerset County) Maine
    Skowhegan Drive-in:  207- 474-9277
    located on East Front Street

    The Skowhegan is open weekends only at the beginning and
    at the end of the Drive-in season (Season 2001 is their 48th);
    stretching the weekend to 5 nites (Thursday-Monday) as the
    days grow longer, and then the screen is lit-up 7 nites a week
    in peak summer - while school is out; with double features.
    Admission:  $5 for ages 12&up; 11& under admitted free.

  • Westbrook (Cumberland County) Maine
    Pride's Corner Drive-in:  207-797-3154
    located at 651 Bridgeton Road

    Pride's Corner is the nearest Drive-in to Portland, and
    has been in operation since the early days of the boom
    (1953). Early in the season, it is usually open only on the
    weekends, but runs 7 nites thru the Summer, screening
    double features nitely. You'll find it right off Route 302 --
    a mile and a half from the Portland - Westbrook line.
    Admission: $5 adults; $3.50 for ages 11 and under.

     We have received a considerable amount of eMail
      concerning the status of Pride's Corner ..   and so, for the
      record:  YES- the Drive-in was "dark" owing to a freak storm
      this past February (2001), which took a swipe at their screen ..
      BUT-  all the reports of their demise have been exaggerated.
      After extensive and costly repairs, they  re-opened in July.

If you are aware of any Drive-ins
that we seem to have missed, or
would like to contribute any
information to our efforts,
please use this envelope
to send a letter to us.

 The Guide to Drive-in Movie Theatres

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