Bayshore-Sunrise Drive-In

1881 Sunrise Highway,
Bay Shore, NY 11706

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Showing 1 - 25 of 84 comments

davidcoppock on October 3, 2020 at 11:17 pm

The site is now Home Depot and Shop Rite Plaza.

robboehm on February 4, 2019 at 12:46 pm

Of all the initial Prudential Drive Ins this was the largest until they built the three All Weather’s. Although the Cinema hard top was adjacent to the drive in it did not appear that they were trying to play catch up to the All Weather concept since the movies show in the two venues were always different.

bond on September 1, 2017 at 12:04 pm

Correction on the closing of the Sunrise Hwy Bay Shore Drive In.. It closed in 1990 not 1985..

I remember seeing , Back to the Future part 2 and 3 there.

D_Brudie on May 20, 2017 at 7:02 am

This theater was my HORROR hangout! I saw so many great films, like, Creepshow, Day of the Dead, Without Warning and so many more… Great times. indeed.

Rayzor on December 6, 2014 at 10:02 am

Guadzilla-The Best Buy was a farmers market, then a waldbaums before it became what it is now. The shopping center with Toy R' Us and farmer’s market was there before I was born, I have no clue when it was even built. Farmer’s market was probably there in the 50’s.

Rayzor on December 6, 2014 at 9:55 am

I lived across the street from the drive-in. We used to watch movies from our pool deck and tune into the sound cause we were close enough to catch the signal. The drive-in closed completely in the winter of 1990. After that they had fairs, and carnivals for a short period in the vacant lot, and then home depot opened in late 1992 . Later Shop-Rite opened, and eventually they built an apartment complex for seniors. I miss the way my neighborhood used to look before the drive-in closed.

Guadzilla on March 31, 2013 at 10:33 am

This theatre definitely remained open beyond 1985. I graduated high school in 1990 and I used to go to this drive-in with my HS gf regularly. I only started driving in 1987 so it may have even made it into the 90’s. There’s a Home Depot and a Best Buy there now. Progress isn’t always progress…

mikebernier on January 23, 2011 at 1:34 am

The amusement park with the bi-planes was actually right outside of the Bay Shore Farmers Market (not by Peter Pan Diner) on the corner of Brentwood Road and Sunrise Highway. I did ride on the planes and it was great.
Mike B.

jpark377 on September 4, 2010 at 7:32 pm

This theater and the Bay Shore Cinema actually did make it to the 90’s- I don’t know why there should be so many inaccuracies in the opening theater descriptions on this site(I quit working there in 1987- so I don’t think it closed in 1985!). I’ll look up my old invoices, but the Home Depot on the site opened around 1991-1992. It was the last Drive-In in Suffolk County, that’s for sure, but was outlived by it’s Nassau County UA counterpart, the Westbury Drive-In by many years.

bogieyank on June 23, 2010 at 10:11 am

I have fond memories of this drive in. It opened sometime during the late ‘50s. I believe the first movie I saw there with my parents was “Rio Bravo”. This drive in played many of the John Wayne westerns during that era.

I recall the shuffle board courts which were located right at the footstep of the screen (at the time this was a single screen venue). For some reason in my youth I had a fear of large movie screens and remember my parents wondering why I would start crying when we went up to play shuffle board.

The theatre also had a miniature golf course located in the east side of the parking area. That was a lot of fun.

One earlier entry mentions the fact the theatre played top forties music before the show would start. I still hear the echoes of that music in my memory.

It was indeed located next to the Bayshore Farmers Market and my Dad knew the man who managed one of the produce stands there. We would load up on green seedless grapes and snack on them during the movies.

Later in years the indoor theatre had been built right on the west side of the entrance to the drive in. I do not believe the two theatres were related in any way only by geography. Later in years the theatre became a twin and lost some of its charm.

The one drawback was the incinerator right across the street on the east bound side of Sunrise Highway. If the breeze was right, during the show the smell of burning trash would become apparent. It did keep the mosquitoes away however.

During the early years however, Long Island was rich with many outdoor cinemas and for the most part I have been to them all. The Bay Shore Sunrise was the one we frequented the most.

We would go to the 5th Avenue Drive In from time to time but they featured low budget horror films for the most part which we did not have a taste for.

It is sad that these moments in history have been lost for the most part. Today we yield to 3D and special effects and not great cinema moments which required the skill of acting and not delusion.

Up here in Maine we still have two active drive ins; The Saco Drive In and Prides Corner Drive In. We have been to the Prides Corner and it is pretty old but nostalgic. It brings back memories of the Bayshore Sunrise and the happy moments spent there.

jpark377 on May 17, 2009 at 10:12 am

Hi Bway-
It’s the Home Depot/Shop Rite property. Best Buy is the old Bay Shore Farmer’s Market location.

Bway on April 20, 2009 at 11:27 am

Is this the site where Home Depot, Best Buy, and that shopping center is now? Or was it where TGI Fridays, etc and the mall is now?

konga5 on August 31, 2008 at 4:54 pm

I painted that sign, longislandmovies!

Jeana on May 29, 2008 at 3:16 pm

If anyone has pictures of the Bay Shore Cinema on Main Street (it is now a YMCA), please post here or email me at (take out the trash). I have a large collection of photos of Bay Shore and Brightwaters, but I have never been able to find any pics of this theater. My album is here:

There are several photos of the drive-in in my collection.

I would appreciate any photos. Thank you.

jpark377 on March 28, 2007 at 5:25 pm

I worked there as a rampman starting around 78-79 (hello Tony G.). It was a very low paying, great job. I guess at this point, the job of “rampman” has gone the way of the job of “stage coach builder”. Who would have ever though there would be no drive-in theaters here? I guess economics, and not nostalga, really dictates the land use.

When I first started there, field 2 was still using speakers, and I remember we would get complaints about the noise from the locals if we didn’t make a sweep and turn down the speakers a couple of times a week (nobody turned them down when they re-hung them on the post).

So they go and install AM Cinema Radio out in theater 2 around 1980, and do away with the speakers, which was a great idea (maintenance on speakers was a never ending issue). They end up transmitting on the same frequency (I think 540 kHz) as a Cuban radio station, that we found out was transmitting at about 100,000 watts. During peak sun spot activity of the summer, the Cuban station used to boom in out in field #2, loud and clear. Some people took exception with watching a movie with unrelated Spanish music in the backgroud. A few refunds were issued!

John, I agree. I don’t remember an indoor theater in field #2, just the projection booth building. And yes, we used to call the Third Pct. if the “walk in” situation got really bad. But the home office would bust our chops about walk-ins, because they would see increases in the concession stand “per capita” sales, due to the “walk ins” (they had it calculated how much each paying customer should spend, any excess was probably people who didn’t buy tickets. I hate bean counters).

As far as the Bay Shore Cinema (also addressed 1881 Sunrise Hwy), it was a totally separate entity (own staff, manager, budget, etc), though also United Artist theater. The Pier-One building that stands on Sunrise Hwy to the west, was built a few years (mid-80’s), before the demolition of the Cinema, on an undeveloped parcel of land. I even thought at the time it was a very stark contrast: An old single screen movie theater (certainly a struggling breed for many years), next to a new-styled retailer. What I didn’t realize then that the “Box” stores would take over every piece of land in sight (including 1881 Sunrise Hwy); and we would loose every single Drive-In movie theater on Long Island. A real shame.

JohnMoviola on March 3, 2007 at 9:00 pm

Well, I though I would add my memories of the Bay Shore Sunrise Drive-in. I went there as a youth in the early Sixties, right up to its closing. I remember coming as a small child and seeing movies like “North By Northwest,” “The Time Machine,” some of the ones shown around 1960. I recall the playground in back of the concession stand. I remember walking over to the east to play minuature golf a few times. I vividly recall the inside of the concession stand, especially the large movie posters on the southern wall that I had to ogle every time we came in, and it was that stand where I developed my love for Yoo-Hoo – had to have it, or the other
chocolate drink they had (was it Bordens?).

I remember the speakers that had to be driven up to, and their tinny sound! AND, the switch to the radio broadcast sound. In the early Sixties, before the movie, they played soft top 40 hits, and I still think of watching the sun set whenever I hear this music.

I don’t recall any “inside theater” within the grounds of the Bay Shore Drive-in. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t there, but I don’t remember it. I do remember the near-by Bay Shore Cinema, and seeing a film there right after it opened (early 60’s, one of the Robert Youngman silent film comedy clip movies), and seeing “Rocky Horror Picture Show” there within months of its closing around 1990.

My memories of the Bay Shore Drive-In include sneaking into it a few times on-foot in the early 70’s to see a showing of all the Planet of the Apes movies. Another time, I was picked up by a cop and removed.

booflashus on December 9, 2006 at 12:15 pm

does anyone remember a movie that was filmed at the bay shore drive in back in the 60s poss w/peter fonda

booflashus on December 9, 2006 at 4:07 am

if i remember right the 5th ave drive in was just south of the 3rd pct it became a car wash and a stone yard the bay shore drivein became apts,home depot and a supermarket next door where toys r us is.use to be the farmers market they had rides for the kids in front brentwood rd and sunrise until hurr.donna the drive in also had rides and way in the back before thay started the flea market thing thay had a drive in church on sundays

flip5050 on September 22, 2006 at 7:31 pm

Well the one I really remember was “Attack of the 50 foot Woman”, and I was looking up and around for days after that one! One Eyed Cyclops
was another big screen favorite. I guess I just dated myself…..

longislandwally75 on September 22, 2006 at 6:18 pm

ps: cinema had it’s own entrance and exit..
as did the farmers market..


longislandwally75 on September 22, 2006 at 6:16 pm


the drive way that leads to the big store [maybe home depot] the same drive way used to get to the di boxoffice…
also pier 1 is on the spot of the cinema bayshore..
when you looked out the front of the cinema slightly to your right
was the bayshore roller rink..
the cinema was on it’s own lot…as was the farmers market..
remember to hang up your speakers before you pull out!!!!


Ed Solero
Ed Solero on September 22, 2006 at 3:16 pm

I remember being able to catch good glimpses of the screens from St. Louis Avenue, which ran on the eastern perimeter of the drive in. You had to cut over Oakwood and drive down St. Louis to get to the entrance if you were coming from my direction down Brentwood Road, because the Sunrise Hwy service roads were one way in each direction. I know I saw a handful of movies here, but all I can remember is the first “Fletch” with Chevy Chase.

Last time I was at the site of the old Drive-In, I stopped for a late bite in the TGIF that is near the location. There’s some big chain store there where the Drive-In lot was. I can’t remember which.