theater

Circle Drive-In (Open-PA)

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.

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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.

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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.

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The concession stand offers a variety of foods, the basic drive-in fare. There is an outdoor seating area. This was a neat feature!

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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!

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History:

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:

 

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Circle Drive-In
1911 Scranton Carbondale Highway
Dickson City, PA 18508

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The Moonlite Comes Back to Life! (Opening Soon!)

For Christmas, I unwrapped my very own pair of drive-in speakers and stand! My husband came through with an amazing gift, and linked me to a fun Facebook page as well.

While browsing the recent posts, I came across some photos of the Moonlite Drive-In Theatre in West Wyoming, Pennsylvania – BEING RENOVATED! The Borough Council accepted the purchase of the drive-in by Eric Symeon and approved a variance for the land to become a drive-in again earlier this year.

I hope some of the memorabilia Mr. Symeon found in the buildings will be put on display – I almost wish I had withstood the heat and bugs to browse the property more when we were there!

Best of luck and well wishes during the renovations – the marquee already looks 110% better and only good things can happen from here on out! 3 Cheers for another drive-in theatre brought back to life (Coming: Spring 2018!).

**Make sure to check out my original post about the Moonlite Drive-In! 

My First Drive-In Night

September 2010 was a fantastic month for me and one of those reasons was my first visit to a drive-in movie. Delsea Drive-In, in Vineland, NJ.

Before this I had never known they still existed! Drive-in theaters sounded like an old-time conversation piece my mom would have been excited to discuss. So when my now-boyfriend (he asked me out later that night!) and friends wanted to have a drive-in hang out, I was a bit curious.

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That curiosity changed to pure excitement when we arrived – pulling up to the ticket booth behind a load of cars, getting my first glance of the screens. We received our “ticket,” which was a folded paper with the movies, FM channels per screen, and a menu for the concessions.

We parked at Screen #2, unloaded chairs and set-up around the cars. Photos were snapped, food was bought, and bottoms were settled into chairs for the first movie. It was chilly as we sat outside, so we also bundled ourselves under blankets.

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The intermission screen glowed with dancing hot dogs, popcorn, and sodas, encouraging the viewers to frequent the concession stand. I remember that we had pizza that night, among other snacks.

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After the 2nd movie we headed back towards home, and I was hooked. I had to go back, and I wanted to experience watching the movies in the car (back of the car to be exact – blankets, pillows, hatchback…;-). I was on Cloud 9 and haven’t come back down yet. ♥

Happy Opening Day!

Today is the day – the Delsea Drive-In, New Jersey’s only operating drive-in theater, OPENS! http://www.delseadrive-in.com/

Unfortunately, I will not be attending opening weekend due to prior engagements; however, I am excited for Drive-In season to begin. My next update will be about my very first trip to the drive-in… I can’t believe that was over 2 years ago!

Cheers to a great season!

Introduction

Delsea drive-in

My 1st drive-in visit: Delsea Drive-in (New Jersey)

September 2010. In the midst of being swept-off-my-feet by an amazing guy, he unknowingly introduced me to my new interest (obsession): the drive-in movie theater. On a group outing with some friends I attended my first drive-in movie and fell in love…

Flash-forward and it is 2 1/2 years later, April 2013. I now own 3 books about drive-ins, I have a bookmarked folder for websites/links, and a goal to visit as many drive-ins as I can. And not just drive-ins that are open, but those that have left remains behind.

This blog is a way for me to share my explorations, my findings, my enthusiasm.

Who knows…maybe you’ll catch some drive-in nostalgia too.