Saco Drive-In

969 Portland Road,
Saco, ME 04074

300 cars

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Showing 1 - 25 of 27 comments

Denny Pine
Denny Pine on August 28, 2022 at 4:00 pm

The Saco Drive-In is in the process of moving across the street next to Aquaboggin Water Park

rivest266 on July 11, 2022 at 4:54 pm

Renamed Saco Open Air on July 22nd, 1939.

rivest266 on July 11, 2022 at 4:51 pm

Grand opening ad posted.

dallasmovietheaters on March 2, 2022 at 6:50 pm

The Saco Drive-In Theatre closed for the season on September 19, 2021 with “The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard” and “Candyman.” It was sold to a trailer dealer and did not reopen for the 2022 season.

MichaelKilgore on March 21, 2019 at 10:43 am

Looking through some 1940 issues of The Exhibitor, it generally referred to the theater as the Saco Drive-In.

June 5: “Drive-In Saco is operating full blast although a steady seige of rainy weather hampered.”

July 3: “Saco Drive-In here opened June 22.”

Aug. 14: “Saco Drive-In, after changing hands, has closed.”

Sept. 18: “Saco Open Air is closed.”

davidcoppock on October 5, 2018 at 9:26 am

Opened as Auto Drive-in on 15/7/1939 with “Forbidden music”. Name changed to Saco Drive-in(1950’s?). Won a digital projector in 2013.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on August 12, 2018 at 7:05 pm

I’m heading up to the drive-in next week, does anyone know if the digital bulb is still as bright and clear as it should be? If they haven’t changed it since 2014 (as has happened at many locations, both hardtop and drive-ins) I will be disappointed…

MichaelKilgore on September 20, 2017 at 4:48 pm

One more note – anyone interested in the history of the Saco should check out Camille M. Smalley’s 2014 book, The Saco Drive-In: Cinema Under the Maine Sky. It’s available in ebook and dead-tree versions at the usual places.

nritota on September 20, 2017 at 4:48 pm

You have to keep in mind that theater companies often overstated capacity as well. It allowed them to be offered “bigger” films since the distributor wanted to be exposed to the maximum audience.

On the flip side, a lot of independents understated their receipts in order to pay less of the percentage owed to distributors.

It was a delicate dance that played out all over the country in hard tops and drive ins.

MichaelKilgore on September 20, 2017 at 4:41 pm

Mike is right that I’ve been going through so many of these that I started thinking that everyone knew all the abbreviations and notes of these books. My apologies, and thanks to DI54 for pitching in. The cryptic abbreviations (other than IMPA) are what appeared in the books, which provided different levels of detail in different yearly editions.

The numbers at the end are vehicle capacity. Some of them could get very specific, since a drive-in owner knew exactly how many in-car speakers he had to maintain. But the first “75-150” in the 1953-54 edition of the Motion Picture Almanac (not International yet) looked like a hand-altered “75-” added to a previously laid-out 150. Out of hundreds of drive-ins, there were probably fewer than a dozen hyphenated ranges listed. I’d say that it was surprising that this uncertain number hung on for two decades, but inertia was a powerful force for those Almanac folks. As DI54 implies, these references are informative but not definitive.

Drive-In 54
Drive-In 54 on September 20, 2017 at 3:16 pm

What he is doing is listing the owners/operators of the drive-ins that are listed in the Theatre Catalogs and the IMPA (International Motion Picture Almanac) both are reference books for theatre researchers. But there information can be quite dubious at times also.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on September 20, 2017 at 2:18 pm

NeonMichael, I even put your post into Google translate, but I still can’t make heads or tails out of it. Care to elaborate…?

MichaelKilgore on September 20, 2017 at 1:39 pm

Here’s what’s on my shelf:

*Theatre Catalogs

1948-50: Eugene Boragine, 300.

1952-56: A. C. O'Neill and Herbert Higgins, 300


1953-54: E. Borazin; Higgins, 75-150.

1955-59: Higgins Circuit, 75-150.

1963: Madison Theas. Co., 75-150.

1969-76: 75-150.

1982: SBC Mgt. Corp., 600.

1984-88: SBC Mgt. Corp.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on May 31, 2014 at 9:06 pm

Just came from a few days at Ogunquit and made a special trip to this drive-in, and I am very pleased to report that the digital projection is effin' awesome!

This has to be the clearest and brightest drive-in presentation that I have seen in decades. It had the quality of a high-end hardtop. The screen is white and in great shape, with no noticeable flaws, and the sound was crisp and static-free.

X-Men looked sensational, even in the dark scenes, and the glossy Other Woman was as shiny as a new penny. (The movie itself was dreadful, but it sure looked swell on the big screen!)

This is how it should be done. Showmanship and professionalism it its best. Kudos to all involved.

gmelick on May 12, 2014 at 1:57 pm

They’re opening Heaven Is For Real and Amazing Spiderman2 this weekend, 5/16/14.

They will follow that on 5/23 with X-Men: Days of Future Past and The Other Woman…

Then on 5/30 with Maleficent and X-Men..

Million Dollar Arm will be shown starting 6/6 with the 2nd week of Maleficent.

You can follow their programming on Facebook at:

Hope you enjoy them all!

  • their booker, Greg Melick, Cinema Links.
SteveSwanson on May 11, 2014 at 5:55 pm

Yes they have. Opening film for May 2 was Rio 2. The week after featured an independent horror film festival with live music.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on May 11, 2014 at 4:21 pm

Theater’s open for the season; have the digital projectors been installed?

antoniomontana on September 12, 2013 at 8:14 pm

Great News, Saco drive-in will get new digital projectors courtesy of Honda’s ProjectDrivein contest. Thanks for the Votes!

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on July 28, 2010 at 5:45 pm

Saco Drive-in, billed as “The Showplace of Maine”.

nritota on November 28, 2009 at 6:26 am

Is this an independent now?

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on November 27, 2009 at 8:21 pm

Yeah, I thought that was an awful small lot,but i remember going through the Virginia mountains back in the early 70’s and i never saw such a small drive In located in those mountains it was tiny. My Almanac book could be wrong.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on November 27, 2009 at 7:38 pm

No i did not work here. I found a 1956 Motion picture Almanac in the old Miller Theatre and sometimes i get it out to help with infO.However, I did work at my cousin’s drive in free of charge when i was 16 and spent a couple of weeks there. I actually made a CHANGE OVER when the Projectionists got sick and had to visit the toilet. I did not to too bad, It was HOMBRE with Paul Newman. Non-union booth in Forrest City, N.C.. I heard that Drive inhad just closed up about a year or so.

TLSLOEWS on November 27, 2009 at 7:16 pm

Whats up Mike did you work at this drive-in too?

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on November 27, 2009 at 6:48 pm

I have The Saco Drive in Parking 75 to 150 cars in 1956. It was owned at that time by Higgins Circuit. So it has expaned?

lexmarks567 on November 25, 2009 at 11:54 pm

lost memory your pictures are set to private can you fix.