Neponset Drive-In

775 Gallivan Boulevard,
Dorchester, MA 02125

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Daytz Theatre Enterprises Corp., Redstone Drive-In Theaters

Architects: William H. Black

Nearby Theaters

Neponset Drive-In

The Neponset Drive-In was on Morrissey Boulevard in Dorchester, south of Boston for years. It opened September 14, 1950 with Maureen O'Hara in “Commanche Territory” & Richard Basehart in “Outside the Wall”. It was operated by Redstone Drive-In Theaters and was designed by Wellesley based architect, designer, builder William H. Black. It reopened with a CinemaScope screen on July 2, 1954 with Maxwell Reed in “Roadhouse Girl” & Victor Mature in “Kiss of Death”. By 1952 it was operated by Redstone Drive-In Theaters & Daytz Theatre Enterprises Corp. It was a huge local hangout for teens in the 1950’s to the 1970’s. It became a flea market in the 1980’s and then vacant until the City of Boston turned the site into Pope John Paul II Park around the turn of the century.

It was pay per head so I have great memories of sneaking in with trunkloads of teens in cars with the back seat filled with lawn chairs. I’m sure they never suspected.

Contributed by Jeff Rogers

Recent comments (view all 29 comments)

Drive-In 54
Drive-In 54 on December 21, 2012 at 7:13 am

You can tell they put the Cinema-Scope screen in front of the flat screen.

rivest266 on May 11, 2013 at 8:20 pm

This opened on September 14th, 1950. I uploaded its grand opening ad here.

rivest266 on May 11, 2013 at 8:21 pm

Also the reopening with the CinemaScope screen on July 2nd, 1954.

just1eagle on October 7, 2015 at 2:04 pm

It’s funny, I didn’t realize it had a 1,350 car capacity. Though, as I kid I remember it being ‘busy.’ My favorite part was that, as a younger kid, you could wear your pj’s and have pillows and blankets. I think there’s a Country song with the lyrics, to the effect, that it’s not a different time, but a different world…I have to agree. I miss it, but what really is sad is that the memories that you and I hold(about this one place)—the depth and beauty of them—cannot be shared with kids NOW! ‘Innocent fun,’ the term almost seems archaic. No time is ever perfect, but I’m glad I was a child in those times. Be well!

Dave Lounder THE DRIVE-IN THEATRE PRESERVATION SOCIETY on March 14, 2016 at 11:07 pm

@just1eagle: Wow! Your description absolutely NAILED the true essence of the golden age Drive-In experience — the magical wonder, amazement, and excitement of movies under the moonlight!!! I was blessed with parents who brought me up Drive-In!!! I aim to recreate the experience that you so treasure as I do! Thank you for your inspiration!!!

Dave Lounder (The Drive-In Guy)

Kensington, CT

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on July 21, 2020 at 1:44 pm

In the Quincy Patriot Ledger of Sat. July 18 there is a feature about local drive-ins by Fred Hanson. He mentions that the comic actor Jerry Lewis once made a personal appearance at the Neponset Drive-in (no date listed). Jerry Lewis made many appearances at indoor movie theatres so it’s certainly possible.

Ravenswing on December 8, 2021 at 10:36 pm

Heh, the first time I ever saw a nekkid lady was at the Neponset Drive-In. They were doing double features at the time, the first one kid-friendly, the second more adult. So after the first one, my parents would bed me and my brothers down in the back of the station wagon and enjoy the second feature.

I was always a restless fellow, and picked my head up to see the aforementioned nekkid lady on the screen, floating underwater, feet in cement. Given the timing – we moved out of the area in January 1970 – that had to be Lady In Cement, the 1968 Sinatra/Welch movie.

davidcoppock on December 9, 2021 at 10:49 am

Opened on 14th September 1950 with “Comanche Territory” and “Outside the wall”. Reopened on 2nd July 1954 with “Roadhouse” and “Kiss of death”. Shy the name Neponset?

davidcoppock on December 10, 2021 at 12:00 pm

Why the name Neponset?

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on December 10, 2021 at 12:09 pm

Neponset is the name of the river. It is a Native American name.

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