New Haven Drive-In

620 Washington Avenue,
North Haven, CT 06473

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Additional Info

Architects: Charles H. Abramowitz

Previous Names: North Haven Drive-In

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The New Haven Drive-In opened August 27, 1948. It had a capacity of 500 cars and included a playground. There are now condos on its property. It was owned by David Willig of New Haven Drive-In Theatres, Inc. As of 1979 it was closed. Part of the site is now a Mercedes-Benz dealership, with some land is still available.

Contributed by Dave Bonan

Recent comments (view all 10 comments)

rgdei8 on June 5, 2006 at 7:35 pm

does anyone have any old pictures of this drive in?

kencmcintyre on January 30, 2010 at 6:42 pm

Here is an old ad from

mhantholz on May 21, 2010 at 5:01 pm

This drive-in seemed to have the same kind of booking policy as the BOWL D.I. West Haven and POST D.I. East Haven: these three ringed New Haven and could pull kids from surrounding towns. Their ads in the New Haven Register/Journal Courier [yes, New Haven had a morning AND evening paper back then] were clustered together on the movie page and the name-banners were similar. It was not uncommon for local theaters to form loose co-op booking entities to give them greater leverage with distributors—-this was still the era of “states rights” distribution, independents releasing through regional distributors. For Connecticut, Boston was the locus of the New England region: Crest Films, Hallmark Releasing, etc. Always full, height of the 1960s drive-in boom. A lot of us got our fingers wet for the first time in these drive-ins. The New Haven had a more conventional booking policy in comparison with the POST—–everybody was conventional next to the POST. Drive In days 1960s, gone forever.

monkeeman1966 on July 2, 2010 at 6:12 pm

Actually it closed around 1980. I used to go there and we used to hide in the trunk of my friend’s car. I am talking 1978 here, because my friend was 16 also and had a big trunk.

hivicar on January 6, 2011 at 10:56 am

Great memories growing up nearby and slipping in through the back fence with one or two other 14 yr-olds to experience films like M.A.S.H., Gimme Shelter, Night of the Living Dead, Catch 22, the Hells Angels films, Little Big Man, and Pretty Maids All in a Row. Used to get chased away, at times, by a lady who drove a Studebaker Lark around the big lot, and would nail us with her high beams. We always stopped by for the great stuff at Dino’s down Washington Av! Kinda sad to drive by 20 years later and see no trace of either, as if they never existed, an experience many around the country surely had on the outskirts of their towns back then.

hivicar on June 7, 2011 at 2:17 pm

Self-correction:Dino’s is still there!

kodanja7 on June 6, 2012 at 12:20 pm

My Mom ran the conssesion stand at the North Haven drive in from 1965 to 1974, so many great memories, she also ran the snack bar at warton brook…

jwmovies on October 29, 2012 at 9:35 pm

Approx. address for this drive-in was 620 Washington Avenue. The BMW and Benz dealerships as well as the subdivision behind these properties comprised the drive-in.

5brooktrout on August 17, 2013 at 12:53 pm

Grew up in the neighborhood behind the drive-in.Took it for granted.It was a jem.We need to preserve the ones that are left.I live about 20 miles Northeast of the Mansfield Drive-in and take my family as often as possible.Also worked at Dino’s,another treasure! The best fried clams anywhere!I stop there as often as possible.

MrSmith1957 on December 7, 2013 at 2:58 am

Well I webnt there in 1975 and it was not closed then so they have their facts wrong.It would have been more like 1979 that it closed,and thats because during the winter vandals took sleghammers to the buildings and screen.

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