Black River Drive In Theatre

28035 State Route 3
Watertown, NY 13601

315-773-8604

History:

Black River Drive In Theatre was built in 1950. Opening in August of that year, by Sylvan Leff. Sylvan operated the theatre into the early 70's at which time he leased the Black River Drive-In to Panther Theatres, that subsequently became Country Wide Theatres. They Operated the Drive-In for a couple of years and then sold it to Atko Canton Corp in Syracuse NY, that was owned by Charles Girrard and Anthony Kolinski. Atko Canton operated several Theatres including 7 Drive Ins acrossed the North East, including both the Starlite and Northside Drive Ins in Watertown NY and the Midway Drive In in Minetto.

Atko Canton operated the Theatre into the mid 1980's when nationwide declining attendance lead to the demise of many Drive In Theatres and ceased operations by leasing it to Jeff Szot, who currently operates the 56 Auto Drive-In located in Massena, NY. Jeff operated the theater for one season. After closing in the fall, a fire badly damaged the concession building.

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