Auto Vision Drive-In

588 Columbia Turnpike,
East Greenbush, NY 12061

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: General Cinema Corp.

Previous Names: Auto Vision Theater

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Located in the town of East Greenbush, a little over five miles east of Albany, NY. The Auto Vision Theater was opened on May 23, 1940 with “March of the Movies” (aka The Film Parade) & Edmund Lowe in “The Wolf of New York” It was built adjacent to and behind a Howard Johnson’s restaurant that pre-dated it. It had a standard one screen arrangement with a combined projection house and concession stand. The ticket booths and marquee were updated several times over the years. In the 1960’s a kiddie play land was added in front of the screen, and car heaters were offered to extend the season into November.

More commercial establishments also came like McDonald’s, Pizza Hut, Friendly', and Carvel’s Ice Cream. With the inception of VCRs and the skyrocketing cost of land in the area, it closed in 1979 and was replaced by a fitness center, which has now also closed.

General Cinema operated this theater for a time in the early 1970’s.

Contributed by Daniel Moran

Recent comments (view all 8 comments)

joemasher on April 30, 2008 at 12:33 pm

While I am not sure of the exact address for the Auto-Vision Drive-In, I am sure that it is not the address listed above (939 Grooms Road, Rexford, NY). The theater was located on Routes 9 and 20 in East Greenbush, NY, just south of where it intersects with Route 4. All that remains is the entrance/exit road where the box office was located.

mycalpal on December 8, 2011 at 5:43 pm

Thanks for sharing your memories of this little gem from my childhood. Joemasher and lostmemory are correct, the AutoVision Drive in was at routes 9 & 20 in East Greenbush. I spent many nights here watching movies as child and teenager. I vividly remember a “Dusk to Dawn” show at the drive in in the summer of 1977. It featured several Disney films, “The Horse with the Flying Tail”, “The Rescuers”, “No Deposit, No Return”, followed by “Lifeguard” and one of the “Airport” movies with coffee and dounuts served at 2:00am.

jwmovies on September 5, 2012 at 6:33 am

Approx. address was 588 Columbia Turnpike, East Greenbush, NY 12061.

davidcoppock on May 6, 2019 at 3:15 pm

Opened on 23/5/1940 with selected shorts(not named), “Birth of the movies” and “The Wolf of New York”. First drive-in in the world to have individual car speakers and volume control, reopening in may 1946 with “Soringtime in the Rockies” and “Abbot & Costello in Hollywood”. Closed in 1979. Demolished(date unknown). Site is now a portable storage trailer rentals, and a cell phone tower. The entrance road may still be there?

davidcoppock on September 29, 2020 at 2:47 pm

The site is now portable storage trailer rentals and a cell phone tower.

MichaelKilgore on March 15, 2022 at 3:14 pm

Boxoffice, July 28, 1958: “Alan V. Iselin’s Auto-Vision in East Greenbush wound up its 19th anniversary week with an "All Request Show,” consisting of three science-fiction shockers - “Satellite in the Sky,” “Killers From Space” and “Phantom From Space”."

That’s just wrong. Surely no one who had previously viewed the last two movies would request an encore. And that “19th anniversary” is bogus, since it would put the Auto-Vision’s opening date at 1939. Sometimes drive-ins would talk about their 19th year as a 19th anniversary, and this is a good example.

Variety, July 3, 1940: “William F. Murray, booker for Grand National in Albany and Buffalo until company folded, managing new Auto-vision theatre in East Greenbush. Owen Holmes, a former Springfield (Mass.) projectionist, operates the drive-in.”

jdicarlo on July 22, 2023 at 6:20 pm

The old Howard Johnson’s building that this was built behind was torn down in 2018.

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