Air-Line Drive-In

650 Memorial Drive,
Chicopee, MA 01020

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Circa 1958 print ad courtesy of Robert Guilbert.

This drive-in was opened in 1952. I remember the last movie I saw there was “Star Wars”. The road sign featuring a flying plane in fabulous neon I will never forget.

It was called the Air-Line Drive-In because it was in the direct path of a runway of the nearby Westover Air Base. After closing in 1984, the sign fell into disrepair and blew over in the wind onto Memorial Drive. The drive-in was demolished in 1987.

There are now retail stores on the site, and you would never know that a drive-in was once located here.

Contributed by TheaterBoy

Recent comments (view all 8 comments)

michacavan on June 14, 2004 at 6:47 pm

My memories of the Airline are from my formative years. I remember going to United Skates of America and sneaking through the fence into the drive in behind. We would sit in the play area and try to listen carefully to hear some of the sound coming from the cars. By the time I was old enough to drive the Airline was falling apart and no longer seemed like the cool place to hang out.

ToddFriedhaber on October 8, 2004 at 9:55 am

I was born on Westover AFB in the late 60’s, and remember Airline Drive-in with great fondness. It was the place were I watched features such as Western World, and several of the “Herbie The Love bug” movies. This drive-in was located on Memorial Dr. which was (and is still) an “American Graffiti-isk” setting for local kids drag racing. Today, Whenever I am filling up my SUV at Bj’s, and the horizon is painted with the pink/blue colors of dusk, the warm summer breeze brings back fond memories of a time when playing with Gi Joe’s and Sam Cobra in the woods behind Zarres, watching cartoons on Saturday mornings, and Roller-skating at United Skates of America on Saturday night constituted my whole weekend. One of my good friends has part of that great 50’s era neon Airline Drive-in Sign.

EdwardShear on December 3, 2004 at 3:12 pm

The Airline opened in 1952, closed in 1984,and demolished in 1987

AlLarkin on April 30, 2005 at 8:14 am

I can still envision the Airline’s giant screen while exiting the Mass. Pike. Believe Topor Motors occupies the spot where the screen was located. Airline was noted for their “Dusk to Dawn” all night movies on holiday weekends.

Linc on May 6, 2005 at 9:28 pm

Grew up in Chicoppe and went to the Airline Frequently. Saw The Beatles' “A Hard Days Night” in 64 or 65. Me and my mom & dad & brother with sodas in a metal Coleman cooler. My brother and I wore our pajamas. I think it as on a double bill with Elvis' “Kid Gavalan”.

Saw Sinatra in “Von Ryans Express”. Remember how shocked I was that he died in the end.

In the 70s, used to sneak in to watch the R-rated movies.

momtovn on August 22, 2008 at 1:55 pm

I remember going to this drive in with my family,my sister and I wearing our jammies with back of our hatchback down, all huddled under a blanket. it was so much fun!! they would attach a speaker type device to our car so we could hear the movie. I remember seeing “ET” and the newest “star wars”. by the time I was old enough to hang out there and USA skate,( like my older sister) it was all gone, so sad. I love to tell my kids all about how it was when we drive there to get gas at BJ’s. they think its so neat that there was a drive in there at one time.

DAVEG50 on September 9, 2014 at 2:00 pm

LOVED going to the Airline ,stopped at Burger Chef for cheap and good food,mother worked there too,ahh the good old days!!!

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