Saco Drive-In

969 Portland Road,
Saco, ME 04074

300 cars

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Additional Info

Previous Names: Auto Drive-In, Saco Open Air Theatre

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News About This Theater

Saco Drive-In

The Auto Drive-In was opened on 15th July 1939 with Richard Tauber in “Forbidden Music”. On July 22, 1939 it was renamed Saco Open Air Theatre It was renamed Saco Drive-In from June 22, 1940 and became one of the oldest drive-ins in the U.S. still operating. This single screen drive-in had a capacity for 300 cars. It was closed on September 19, 2021 with Ryan Reynolds in “Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard” & Yahya Abdul-Mateen II in “Candyman”. It was sold to a trailer dealer.

Contributed by Lost Memory

Recent comments (view all 28 comments)

nritota on September 20, 2017 at 7:48 pm

You have to keep in mind that theater companies often overstated capacity as well. It allowed them to be offered “bigger” films since the distributor wanted to be exposed to the maximum audience.

On the flip side, a lot of independents understated their receipts in order to pay less of the percentage owed to distributors.

It was a delicate dance that played out all over the country in hard tops and drive ins.

MichaelKilgore on September 20, 2017 at 7:48 pm

One more note – anyone interested in the history of the Saco should check out Camille M. Smalley’s 2014 book, The Saco Drive-In: Cinema Under the Maine Sky. It’s available in ebook and dead-tree versions at the usual places.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on August 12, 2018 at 10:05 pm

I’m heading up to the drive-in next week, does anyone know if the digital bulb is still as bright and clear as it should be? If they haven’t changed it since 2014 (as has happened at many locations, both hardtop and drive-ins) I will be disappointed…

davidcoppock on October 5, 2018 at 12:26 pm

Opened as Auto Drive-in on 15/7/1939 with “Forbidden music”. Name changed to Saco Drive-in(1950’s?). Won a digital projector in 2013.

MichaelKilgore on March 21, 2019 at 1:43 pm

Looking through some 1940 issues of The Exhibitor, it generally referred to the theater as the Saco Drive-In.

June 5: “Drive-In Saco is operating full blast although a steady seige of rainy weather hampered.”

July 3: “Saco Drive-In here opened June 22.”

Aug. 14: “Saco Drive-In, after changing hands, has closed.”

Sept. 18: “Saco Open Air is closed.”

dallasmovietheaters on March 2, 2022 at 9:50 pm

The Saco Drive-In Theatre closed for the season on September 19, 2021 with “The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard” and “Candyman.” It was sold to a trailer dealer and did not reopen for the 2022 season.

rivest266 on July 11, 2022 at 7:51 pm

Grand opening ad posted.

rivest266 on July 11, 2022 at 7:54 pm

Renamed Saco Open Air on July 22nd, 1939.

Denny Pine
Denny Pine on August 28, 2022 at 7:00 pm

The Saco Drive-In is in the process of moving across the street next to Aquaboggin Water Park

MichaelKilgore on April 2, 2023 at 3:16 pm

Boxoffice, April 17, 1948: “The Saco Drive-In, Saco, Me., which has the distinction of being the Pine Tree state’s only open air theatre, has been sold to Eugene Boragine of New York City. George O’Neill, who operated the theatre since it was built, returned it to its original owner last month, and he, in turn, sold it to Boragine. Included in the sale, which consists of 54 acres, is a hotel and restaurant. The new owner plans to operate the entire property, although the theatre buying and booking will be handled by Herbert Higgins. Boragine is in the interior decorating business in New York but he will spend the summer months on his new project. He is not a newcomer to the industry as 30 years ago he was the manager of a theatre in Providence for Martin Toohey, who brought his friend into the district to introduce him to the exchanges.”

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