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With a drive-in movie in Maine, you get starry skies, warm breezes, a big screen, enormous tubs of popcorn, the occasional mosquito…
Okay, nothing’s perfect. But a drive-in on a summer’s night is pretty close.
Drive-ins used to be everywhere in America. During their heyday in the mid-20th century, there were more than 4,000 drive-ins in the US, according to Smithsonian magazine. Since then, changing tastes and technologies and rising land prices have closed most of them. Today, there are only a few hundred left.
Many that remain use digital technology and sound delivered via radio to enhance viewers’ enjoyment. But many old-time comforts remain. Some theaters allow you to bring lawn furniture and blankets and spread out a bit to watch the show (call and ask first). Movie snacks are just as fattening and just as much fun. Admission is still a bargain.
You’ll find drive-ins all across Maine. The Skylite Drive-In in Madawaska is just shy of the Canadian border in far-northern Aroostook County. The venerable Bangor Drive-In has recently reopened in the northern Maine town of Hermon. Skowhegan has hosted the Skowhegan Drive-In since 1954. In the western Maine town of Farmington, Narrow Gauge Cinemas has a drive-in as well as indoor theaters. And in southern Maine, two classic drive-ins still operate - Pride’s Corner Drive-in in Westbrook and the Saco Drive-in in Saco.