Our Visit – October 2018:
We actually visited the Circle Drive-In twice – both times on our annual trip to NY for my husband to go fishing. Unfortunately, the pictures from our first visit (2016) are MIA. So when we were planning our drive in 2018, I added this detour to recapture the lost images.
Visiting in October meant we saw a glimpse of the drive-in’s side job as a haunted attraction. A giant skeleton was hugging the marquee! The marquee itself is my favorite part of the drive-in. In addition to the movie names, there is also a digital time and temperature box above.
The drive-way entrance takes you uphill, and through the ticket booth. Very classic! There are two lanes to enter the drive-in, with a canopy attached to the booth.
After you exit the ticket area, you proceed to a split for the two screens. The left screen and parking is slightly elevated from the screen on the right. The screens are also facing opposite directions, so you see the back of the left screen after you leave the ticket booth. The rows have markers, simply stated with “Row 6” and so on.
The concession stand offers a variety of foods, the basic drive-in fare. There is an outdoor seating area. This was a neat feature!
We did not stay long since they were not open at the time. Hopefully we can make it out there for a set of movies soon!
The Circle Drive-In opened on September 10, 1949. There are different accounts of who originally opened the drive-in, but the October 22, 1949 issue of Billboard stated the Circle Drive-In Corporation, headed by Al Franzell, opened the drive-in.
After that, it is difficult to know exactly who owned and operated the drive-in until the current owners took over. Carload (website – see links at the end) offers information from the Motion Picture Almanac if you are interested; however, I was unable to verify the change of hands.
I looked into the property deeds to try and get a better idea of the ownership, but that only led to further confusion! See below for the breakdown of the change of hands for the deed over the years. It is interesting to note the mining companies involved in the deeds.
It does seem that Michael Delfino took over the drive-in during the year of 1963. Delfino can be seen in a video on the drive-in’s Facebook page, stating the drive-in went up for sale in 1963. Delfino was already operating the Maple Drive-In, which started 10 years previously.
In 1975, the drive-in expanded to include a flea market. Then in 2012 the Circle of Screams haunted attraction opened. This is also the same year the drive-in switched to digital projection. In 2015, the second screen was added.
Recorder of Deeds: 41.942 acres of land
- June 24, 2010: Mr. & Mrs. Delfino to Circle Realty LLC
- March 11, 1993: Deed signed: Mr. and Mrs. Delfino (Michael Delfino – President of Circle Drive-in Co, Inc) from Bell Mountain Village (Frank Colombo, Partner)
- July 12, 1991: Michael Novak & Rita Novak to Bell Realty, Inc
- July 5, 1978: Michael & Gwen Delfino signed deed from Penn Anthracite Collieries Company
- Jan 2, 1973: Clare Kane (Beneficiary of Leo C. Parrish)
- Jan 15, 1970: Executor of Leo C. Parrish’s estate
- August 19, 1966: Leo C. Parrish from Penn Anthracite Collieries Company
- August 1, 1951: “being parts of the Daniel Bennett, Sandy McLean and Benjamin McLean Warrants, and a part of the Johnson Colliery properties conveyed to a previous Grantor herein by deed of Elk Hill Coal and Iron Company” (Quoted from the deed)
- August 19, 1949: Circle Drive In Co, Inc
Links for Sources and Other Information:
- October 22, 1949 Billboard
- Carload Blog
- Circle Drive-In Website
- WNEP Article
- Happenings Magazine Article
1911 Scranton Carbondale Highway
Dickson City, PA 18508