Ledgewood Drive-In

1135 US 46,
Ledgewood, NJ 07852

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Snaper Circuit

Previous Names: Garden Auto-Torium

Nearby Theaters

Ledgewood Drive-In

I grew up on Mooney Mountain in Roxbury Township (mailing address was Flanders) overlooking Succasunna/Ledgewood. The old Ledgewood Drive-In was situated next to the old Sandwiches Unlimited and on the other side of the old Ledgewood Circle and behind Smiles II adult dance club. This was also the junction of Routes 10 and 46 (the beginning of Route 10). I would always remember seeing pictures on it as we drove by with its high screen.

It was opened in 1950 and the owner retired in 1975. It closed down in 1983. It was owned by Wilfred “Bill” Paul Smith Sr. who died in 2002 at the age of 89. He owned the Ledgewood and Newton Drive-Ins. According to the local newspaper, he was a pioneer of the drive-in movie theater business and his name appears in the Smithsonian Institute. He was also involved in building all the original drive-in theaters in New Jersey.

Eventually, it was torn down and a BJs warehouse sits adjacent to the property - its parking lot is where the main field was. The Circle was torn down and made into the mess it is today back in the mid 90s, and that put Sandwiches Unlimited into a downward spiral and it went out of business. A highlight was driving around the circle to see the new slogan on their marquee.

Contributed by Dave Bonan

Recent comments (view all 29 comments)

shoeshoe14 on September 6, 2008 at 2:41 pm

Was mentioned in the documentary “Drive-In Movie Memories” in 2001.

Early on in the doc, they were showing an array of news clippings of new offerings by the drive-ins, and I zoomed in and hit pause to read a clipping from my hometown drive-in! It said from the Morristown Daily (newspaper) that they would defy winter and plan to show (historic) NYE shows as the first drive-in theater in North Jersey. Five full features.

HAMMER77777 on October 31, 2010 at 5:33 pm

where exactly was this? where walgreen is?

jimverinder on January 1, 2011 at 3:18 pm

It was located where BJ’s is now.

HAMMER77777 on January 1, 2011 at 3:27 pm

any evidence still there?

jimverinder on March 22, 2011 at 4:07 pm

Go to http://ledgewooddrivein.home.comcast.net and follow the third link listed. The only thing left is the exit road with the stone roadway and the white landscaping timbers on the side.

aktubm on May 18, 2012 at 10:38 pm

I saw Back to the Future (1985) last drive in movie before moving back to NH.

jayessar on September 25, 2012 at 9:17 am

This old aerial photo is great. I seem to remember that the entrance was east of the Ledgewood Circle on route 46, but there was also a driveway west of the circle on route 46, which was an exit only, not an entrance.

Drive-In 54
Drive-In 54 on March 30, 2015 at 1:34 pm

A article in the June 3,1950 Motion Picture Herald magazine about the drive-in and it was called “The Garden Auto-Torium” when it first opened. So it should be listed “aka” The Garden Auto-Torium.

Drive-In 54
Drive-In 54 on March 30, 2015 at 2:25 pm

Uploaded pictures from Motion Picture Herald from June 3, 1950.

Drive-In 54
Drive-In 54 on March 30, 2015 at 2:30 pm

The correct address is:

1135 U.S. 46. Ledgewood, NJ 07852

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