Today we come to you from a parking lot for a strip of chains that includes Home Depot, CVS Pharmacy and Red Lobster that was once an important part of the post-war baby boom experience and anybody who grew up un the south shore of Lang Island in the boomers years surely has memories to share of the Johnny All Weather Drive In.
On April 20, 1957,the Johnny All Weather Drive-In Theatre opened to the general public at 1001 Sunrise Highway (Route 27), Copiague (NY).
This family amusement facility was built by Prudential Theatres and later operated by United Artist Theatres. Prudential would operate and manage approximately 15 movie theaters, and eight drive-in theaters on the Island.
The Johnny all weather drive-in was developed on approximately 28 acres and could accommodate 2,500 cars outside with one large screen, and indoors 1,200 attendees also with one large screen. The indoor theatre included air-conditioning, which was a big deal “in the 50’s and 60’s.
A lot of young people missed out on the drive-in experience when cars would pull into a parking spot and the driver would reach out to get the speaker that hung on a cement pole.
The All-Weather Drive-In facility experience included an outdoor roof-top viewing area, full-service cafeteria , outdoor concession stand, playground and a trolley train named Tally-Ho that would take you from the front gate to the indoor theater.
If you grew up in Copiague in the 50’s, 60’s or 70s you probably remember that you could hide in a car trunk, under a blanket on the back-seat floor or jump the low wood fence to attend the movie for free! The drive-in became a hangout for the local teenagers to be seen, as well as meet up in late
The first movie to play at the All-Weather was“Heaven Knows Mr. Allison” starring Robert Mitchum and Deborah Kerr.
The drive-in was constructed on the south side of Sunrise Highway just across from the Hamlet of North Amityville and Copiague’s Benjamin Banneker Community Center. Later, the Bowling Alley and Roll N’ Ice Skating Rink were built next to the Community Center across from the theater.
The Copiague Drive in has become something of historical importance and there are many websites which document the Drive-in theater history of America that detail the Johnny All weatherThe Johnny All-Weather theatre had its last season and closed their door in Copiague,
Today, like a lot of the American landscape the property is home to a shopping center with little connection to the community. A sign post is all that’s left to remind us of this special place. It’s Not There
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