Bringing back Long Island drive-in memories

The Babylon (NY) Beacon columnist Sandi Brewster-walker looked back with a lengthy tribute to the drive-in theaters of Long Island. In particular, the article featured the Johnny All Weather Drive-In Theatre that opened in 1957 in Copiague. It was a rare (probably “only” at the time) drive-in with an adjacent indoor theater where the same movie would run during bad weather.

The Beacon article rambles past the history of drive-ins in general and circles around to some Long Island drive-in history. In the early 1950s, some town councils voted against zoning variances that would have allowed such theaters, in one case because “it would give rise to a moral problem.”

Times changed. In 1961, a similar theater in Long Island opened, the Smithtown All-Weather Drive-In in Nesconset. Then times changed again. Johnny All-Weather closed after the 1984 season, and Smithtown closed a year later.

There’s so much more to read about the Johnny All-Weather and its other Long Island drive-ins. The Long Island page from NewYorkDriveIns.com is probably the best single source, but you should start with the Beacon column, so go read it!

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