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Lakeshore Drive-In History

    The Lakeshore was built as a 480 car theater at 207 Ling Road in the Town of Greece, New York in 1950. It was the 5th drive-in to open in Monroe County and was reported in the Rochester Times-Union to have had a 100-foot tall screen. Grand opening night was July 1st, 1950 with "Bagdad" and "Down Dakota Way" as the first double feature shown. By the early 1980s, nearly all of the RCA in-car speakers were gone or no longer functioning, so AM radio sound was introduced on channel 650, and the in car speaker system was no longer used.
    I have been told that the theater closed for some time during the 1970s, but I have yet to confirm this. I do know for sure that the theater was owned by Redstone Theatres in 1972, and in the 1980s until its closing, was owned by National Amusements of Dedham, Massachusetts.
The theater closed after showing its last double feature of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "Unlawful Entry" on Saturday, September 5th, 1992 (the night I was there). There was no indication to anyone that the theater was not going to reopen in the spring.
    Lakeshore was the last remaining drive-in in Monroe County until its demolition on May 5th, 1993. A local radio station sponsored a "Save The Drive-In Night" in 1991 where admission was only $1. Cars were lined up for almost a mile both ways trying to get in. Despite this effort, the theater lasted only one more season. No one knew of the closing of the theater until we saw its screen going up in flames on the 6 o'clock news. It can be assumed that National Amusements decided not to reopen the theater for the 1993 season, and to tear it down due to the need for many repairs to the theater, and the rapid decline of business. The biggest complaint was the faded and weathered screen that was aluminum gray in spots rather than white, and the poor channel 650 AM sound. It was reported that a demolition crewman's blow torch "accidentally" ignited a pile of wood behind the screen causing a rapidly spreading fire. Accident or not, it sure made knocking the screen down much easier.

If you're interested in opening a drive-in, this would be an excellent site...however, I believe National Amusements still owns it. You would just need to clear away all the poplar trees that have spread into the site since 1993 (many of which are "offspring" from the original border trees that lined the theatre originally). The property is zoned for industrial use by the Town of Greece, but there are many residential developments that could easily be spread into the Lakeshore property if the price is right. Currently the driveway is fenced off with no other signs of development inside the property. I recently e-mailed National Amusements asking for any photos or information they still may have on the theatre, but received no reply.

Lakeshore Media Lakeshore Page

Pre-Opening Ad (from Rochester Democrat & Chronicle - June 30, 1950)

Grand Opening Day Ad (from Rochester Democrat & Chronicle - July 1, 1950)

April 12th, 1951 Ad (from Rochester Democrat & Chronicle - April 12, 1951)

Ling Road Sign  (I took this one myself)

Aerial Shot #1          Aerial Shot #2          Aerial Shot #3
All aerial shots are from early 1990 towards the end of the Winter.

Ticket Booth (from Rochester Democrat & Chronicle/Times-Union Weekend Magazine - June 6, 1991)

WVOR 100.5FM "Save The Drive-In Night" photo  (from the Greece Post  - August 12, 1991)

Final Ad (from Rochester Democrat & Chronicle - September 5, 1992)

Demolition Article #1 (from Rochester Democrat & Chronicle - May 6, 1993)

Demolition Article #2 (from Rochester Times-Union - May 6, 1993)

Demolition Article #3 (from The Greece Post  - May 13, 1993)
(Date of fire is incorrectly reported as May 6 instead of May 5)

Driveway (after demolition) (I took this one myself)

Driveway Sign (down on ground after demolition work) (I took this one myself)

Speaker Pic #1          Speaker Pic #2         
Speaker Pic #3          Speaker Pic #4         
Four different views of a never before used Redstone Theatre in-car drive-in speaker which I purchased
on an online auction. I took all of these pictures with my digital camera.

Below you will find a video of the TV news story aired in Rochester the evening after the demolition.
My thanks goes out to WOKR NewsSource 13 for the permission to release this clip on my site.
Unfortunately, the news story incorrectly states the grand opening as being in 1954.
Also, the last movie to play at the Lakeshore was Unlawful Entry - NOT Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Left click on the file to play it if you have RealPlayer installed.

The VHS tape which this was originally recorded on is old and in poor condition which explains
the somewhat poor video quality.


WOKR-TV Channel 13
Rochester, New York
May 5th, 1993 - NewsSource 13 at 6 news clip:

RealMedia G2 Format

If you don't have RealPlayer, download it for free by clicking HERE.

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Last updated May 31, 2013

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