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Old Drive-In Theater Stars In Clarkstown Police's Throwback Thursday

The 303 Drive-In Theatre opened in Orangeburg in 1956 with "The King and I" and a Disney film.
The 303 Drive-In Theatre opened in Orangeburg in 1956 with "The King and I" and a Disney film. Photo Credit: Provided

CLARKSTOWN, N.Y. -- What memories do you have of the old drive-in movie theater on Route 303 in Orangeburg?

As part of its Throwback Thursday, the Clarkstown Police Department posted a photo of the theater’s marquee advertising the movies, “The King and I,” which starred Deborah Kerr and Yul Brynner, and “Sardinia,” part of the Walt Disney’s “People and Places” series. Both came out in 1956.

Folks who responded on Facebook remembered piling into their family station wagons to see everything from “Fritz the Cat,” a 1972 adult animated film, to a double feature of the “Friday the 13th” movies.

Drive-ins sprung to life in the mid-1930s as cinemas for automobile infatuated Americans. They peaked in the 1950s and '60s and then started petering out in the 1970s and '80s as movie studios started to move away from film, forcing theater owners to purchase expensive digital equipment.

The bygone outdoor theater in Orangeburg was built for and operated by Skouras Theaters.

It had room for 1,834 cars and a playground for kids.

Operated until the mid-1980s, it was last run by United Artists.

The site where it stood is now being used by Orangetown as a recycling and composting center, but its marquee was restored to its former glory about 11 years ago.

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