Sept. 23: Hathaway’s Drive-In Theatre, North Hoosick NY

Hathaway's Drive-In marquee and screen

Photo from the Hathaway’s Facebook page

It’s Day 266 of my virtual Drive-In-a-Day Odyssey. Even though it was barely 100 miles between Milford NH  and the Hathaway’s Drive-In Theatre in North Hoosick NY, it took almost two and a half hours to drive there.

Hathaway’s opened on May 7, 1948, “built by a partnership between Chase & Mary Hathaway and Dean & Dorothy LeBarron Hathaway,” according to New York Drive-Ins. The hurricane of November 1950 blew down the original screen, which was rebuilt using wooden poles heavily braced to support the screen. In 1994, wind destroyed that screen, so it was replaced with the current steel screen.

The Pingree family owned and operated Hathaway’s since 1988 according to a story in the Brattleboro Reformer. (An article in Hemmings Motor News said the date was 1990.) They put it up for sale in 2004 but had a hard time finding a buyer. Duane Greenawalt bought the place in 2009.

In August 2013, Greenawalt announced that Hathaway’s needed a digital projector and would close unless he got support from the community or was a winner in Honda’s Project Drive-In. “Maybe people don’t think I’m serious when I say we will close,” Greenawalt told the Bennington Banner. “But, my family and I have discussed this at great length and we just can’t afford to stay open without help. We need to win this.”

The next spring, that help came from an unusual source. As documented in The Eastwick Press, Lynn Caponera from In The Night Kitchen at Scotch Hill Farm in Cambridge NY came to the rescue. The late Maurice Sendak, author and illustrator of such children’s books as Where the Wild Things Are and In The Night Kitchen, created In the Night Kitchen Farm, a non-profit that grows and distributes fresh produce to those in need. The Greenawalts agreed that Hathaway’s would run on-screen public service announcements promoting awareness for hunger relief in exchange for the funding.

I was happy to watch another new release on a Saturday night. The latest Kingsman installment makes a fine drive-in movie.

Miles Today / Total: 103 / 31210 (rounded to the nearest mile)

Movie Showing / Total Active Nights: Kingsman: The Golden Circle / 168

Nearby Restaurant: Jean’s Place is a little diner that’s probably the closest restaurant to Hathaway’s. They had a Sloppy Joe special for dinner this night, but they also serve breakfast all day, which tends to be my favorite. Blueberry pancakes and plenty of coffee hit the spot any time.

Where I Virtually Stayed: Google Maps said that the closest hotels to Hathaway’s were all in Bennington across the border in Vermont. Honestly, I didn’t go out of my way just so I could stay at another Hampton Inn; it was just a coincidence. It was all the very nice, dependable Hampton standard including a clean, comfy studio suite with all the modern amenities and a solid breakfast in the morning. Thank goodness for happy coincidences.

Only in North Hoosick: One of 29 historic covered bridges in New York State is the Buskirk Bridge in Hoosick. Wikipedia says that it’s perhaps the state’s earliest surviving William Howe truss bridge.

Next stop: Sunset Drive-In, Colchester VT.