I’m happy to have some really good news to report. Local entrepreneur Paul Cole is pouring half a million dollars to renovate and reopen a prized drive-in of his youth – the Rose City in Newark NY. The story came to us first from the Finger Lake Times, and WROC, Rochester’s News Leader, followed up with the YouTube video you hopefully see above.
“I remember coming here as a kid,” Cole told the Times. “They used to have a playground in the back. We were here the night my mother broke water with my brother. That was 1975.” The Rose City stayed alive for another decade, closing after the 1985 season. (Not 1981, as the Times erroneously wrote.)
Cole purchased the property this year from the estate of the late Eugene Colacino. The original screen, 100×45 feet, is still standing after decades of overlooking Highway 31. Recent aerial photos suggest that the original ramps are still in place. But the screen needs some cleanup, and for the concession-projection building, Cole is pretty much starting from scratch.
WROC said that Cole plans to have a soft launch in the fall, with an official opening following next April. (That sounds like what the reborn Tee Pee Drive-In of Sapulpa OK did last fall and this spring.) It’s great to see another classic drive-in getting restored to a modern version of its former glory.