Drive In Pics

Back in the days when we didn't have VCRs and DVD players...we had Drive In Movie Theaters. Their heyday was from the l940's through the early l970's. There are only 500 left in the US today, that are still working, but most are just either long gone and built over (they've been turned into scrap yards, nursing homes or plasterboard palaces-yeah-things we "need"), or some are still "standing skeletons" rotting in the overgrowth of time. But, they'll never be forgotten. In "Cool Links" you can find "drive-in.com" for more info and pix of drive-ins. Here is my collection of photos of old drive-ins and, some movie stars who's films played during the drive-in craze. It was the days of the BIG SCREEN... please enjoy!!

To start the tour click here.

Here are some pics of Bob with some of his favorite stars.


The Hilltop Drive-In

And here is all that remains of the huge Hilltop Drive-In that was active in East Greenwich, R.I. at least until the late 70's, nothing but an overgrown entry way - the screen used to stand behind it. The metal screen stood high for many years until someone decided that a nursing home (yeah, like we need those!) would go up there. The Hilltop is only a couple of miles down the road from the Quonset Drive-In.


Quonset Drive-In Theater

Here's all that is left of the old Quonset Drive-In Theater in North Kingstown RI. It's overgrown and rotting into the ground, the screen long ago torn down. But, the entrance gate is still standing and, the tell tale sign of many a dead drive-in: speaker poles sticking up out of the weeds.


"Limelight Cinemas"

This is the "Limelight Cinemas". Not a "Drive-In" but still an independent movie house and an important place in my life. Until April 13 2001, it was the latest incarnation of the old "Meadowbrook Cinemas" which stood here in this shopping plaza on Warwick Ave in Warwick RI since l970. Originally built as part of the defunct "Jerry Lewis Cinema" chain, it was put up as one theater before the days of the mega multi-plexes. It was then sold in the early 70's and became a multiple cinema (3) called "The Meadowbrook Esquire Cinemas", part of a smaller local chain that did well when the movie distribution industry was just a different and smaller business and, "B" pictures as they were called, ran as first-run movies to small cinemas and drive-ins at the time.

Later in the mid- 80's it was sold again (several times, I'm not sure how many) to just become known as "The Meadowbrook Cinema" . The theaters themselves were in such a state of disrepair and decay that it's local audience slowly trickled away-broken, foul-smelling seats, torn screens, bad copies of films, broken projectors and a concesssion stand that no longer really worked, were the legacy of what was once a popular local "date" cinema. This went defunct in March 2000 due to lackluster business and was reopened by Trainor Entertainment as the "Limelight Cinemas". Because of someone with fresh ideas and a willingness to invest money - it was cleaned up and given a face-lift. The "Limelight" as it was re-christened, was actually doing well, showing second run and vintage movies until the owners of the property basically decided they didn't want a cinema there anymore in their future plans for the property. In the 30 odd years I have lived here the cinema is what I grew up with and, on.

They showed many, many great Godzilla and monster films there as matinees in the Cinema's heyday (the l970's) and before the ease of owning a VCR came into being in the early 80's. Some credit this as what started the cinema's declining attendance. It also hosted one of the longest running Saturday Midnite shows of THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW in New England(although SOME people dispute this,but that's cool too but it DID run for a LONG time here). Many people came from as far away as New York City to see the live cast perform. All that, I am sad to say, will be shortly gone forever. So here are, forever in digital, photos of this great place, that meant so much to me. Interestingly, this place may also hold the record as the longest standing (as a cinema) Jerry Lewis Cinema left in the U.S.