Shirley Drive-In

999 Montauk Highway,
Shirley, NY 11967

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rivest266 on October 21, 2020 at 5:34 pm

Another grand opening ad posted.

davidcoppock on October 4, 2020 at 3:01 am

The site is now Southport Shopping Center.

davidcoppock on April 13, 2019 at 6:59 am

Opened with “The lone hand"and "Desert song”.

robboehm on March 21, 2015 at 3:09 pm

July 1, 1953 opening ad from Patchogue Advance of June 25th added.

robboehm on February 5, 2014 at 6:37 pm

Contrary to the 9/12/2008 posting the actual opening date of the Drive-In was July 1, 1953. I just came upon an ad which I’ll scan and put in the photos area.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on January 28, 2011 at 8:27 pm

It parked 800 cars and in the Late Fifties it was a Associated Prudential theatre.

Bway on April 19, 2009 at 12:50 pm

Here’s an aeiral image of the old drive in. The screen would have been at top, where the Stop N Shop is now:

View link

NYozoner on January 5, 2008 at 3:56 pm

The link above is no longer working. Can anyone repost this picture, or email me a copy of the pic to


jpark377 on March 31, 2007 at 6:31 pm

Robert R-
The intro needs some minor amending. The last drive-in operating in Suffolk was the Bay Shore Sunrise Twin Drive-In (closed in 1990, with the Bay Shore Cinema). In Nassau, I’m glad the Westbury Drive-In held on as long as it did (closing 1998), but it would have been nice if it never closed. The kids of today have no idea what a drive-in movie theater is. A real shame.

AWF on November 20, 2006 at 1:49 pm

To answer your question OX, here’s a link to a great site with tons of info about the Mastic-Shirley area and excellent photos of the drive-in back in the day. Seems that it was some kind of horse ranch in the 40s-50s!

View link

oxen on October 29, 2006 at 8:16 am

does anyone know what was there before the drive-in ?

AWF on October 13, 2006 at 1:47 pm

It was such a disappointment to me when the Shirley Drive-In closed. I spent many nights there as a kid with my family and later as a teenager/young adult. The whole vibe – watching movies outdoors, hitting the playground before and between shows, the highly questionable hot dogs at the concession, the old metal speakers hanging from your driver-side window – harkened back to a simpler time and is gone from today’s movie experience.

In response to Bway’s post, the concession stand was located approximately in the middle of the property, which would put it in the center of the South Port parking lot, facing Waldbaums with Blockbuster to the right and FYE (or whatever the music store is now) to the left. The building that housed the concession stand also served as the projection booth. The playground was directly behind it.

The drive-in was fenced in on 3 sides – left, right, and behind the screen. Beyond the fence on the right were paths that led thru the woods (which could be accessed by going behind what is now the tire place to the right of the Southport entrance) and ended on a dirt hill that had an excellent view of the screen. You could even hear the movies from all the speakers hanging on their posts and open car windows. This perk serviced many penniless teenage nights for my friends and I.

Too bad all the good stuff seems to always fade away …

Bway on June 5, 2006 at 8:22 pm

I often think about the drive in when I shop in this shoppong center. I can just picture the screen where Walbaums is now. Does anyone know where (using the current shopping center stores as landmarks) know where the concession stand used to be?

gens1175 on July 7, 2005 at 2:11 pm

The last movie I saw at this drive in was “Dragnet” in the summer of 1986. I remember the drive in more than I remember that movie. I was 10 years old…

cinemaniac on January 8, 2005 at 12:57 pm

Of course, I’ve never been to this drive-in, and apparently, neither have my parents, because they don’t remember much about the Drive-In, except that it was where the Kohl’s Shopping Center is now. We go to that shopping center a good deal now, as we always used to go to the Caldor that was where is the Kohl’s is.

Bway on November 9, 2004 at 8:24 pm

I meant the “rest of the shopping center is on the right of the entranceway” (with the McDonalds on the left).
There was also a secondary exit at McGraw Street, and that is still currently a secondary exit today for the shopping center. That is the road seen at the left above Montauk Hway, exiting the drive-in on the left in lostmemory’s map link.

I don’t know exactly what the address number the Drive-in used, but the McDonalds is located at 971 Montauk Highway, and is at the extreme left of the property, and the store on the extreme right is Sears Hardware, and is 1019 Montauk Hway, so it has to be between those numbers.

I believe they used 999 Montauk Highway as the Drive In address, but am not sure.

Bway on November 9, 2004 at 8:14 pm

That’s exactly where the SouthPort Shopping Center entrance is now. A Mc Donald’s currently occupies the space to the left of the entranceway, and the rest of the shopping center is on the left. The Screen was located where the Waldbaums is now.

RobertR on October 13, 2004 at 10:53 pm

I am not exactly sure, but I think it was the late 80’s.

Bway on October 13, 2004 at 10:43 pm

Robert, do you know when it closed?

Bway on August 7, 2004 at 4:44 pm

The SouthPort Shopping Center now occupies the site of the Shirley Drive-In.
The address of the Drive-n was on Montauk Highway in Shirley.

Evan on October 8, 2003 at 12:41 am

it is actually a shopping center now. kohls, blockbuster, coconuts music & movies, pizzeria, supermarket.