Wednesday, February 23, 2011

shore drive-in

Exactly 2 weeks ago I went on an adventure. I ventured back a long dirt lane that once welcomed the public to the historic Shore Drive-In. With a love for anything nostalgic and vintage, I’ve been wanting to see this iconic spot of Ocean City history for years. 

The Shore-Drive in closed in 1976 but the remnants of the large 500-parking-spot theater still remain. If you’ve driven down Route 50 you’ve probably seen the dilapidated drive-in sign peaking through the overgrown bush on the eastbound side of the highway. The drive-in was located 3 miles west of Ocean City. The sign that is visible today used to be bright, flashy, and more than noticeable in its prime.

Here’s what I found:

The Shore Drive-In was built during the peak of drive-in popularity in the United States. In 1954 there were nearly 4,000 drive-ins covering the US from coast to coast. Here on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, Ocean City’s Shore Drive-In was a popular place in West Ocean City.

The drive-in sits abandoned, overgrown, marshy, and untouched today. Buried deep in the woods the projection screen still stands. The original concessions stand and ticket booth are barely erected. All major structures still stand, but probably not for much longer due to exposure to the elements for such a long time. After being vacant for more than 30 years, the only true remnants belonging to the Shore Drive-In are the memories of those who parked their cars in the lot and enjoyed many movies at the hot spot.

While traipsing around the site, seeing leftovers from decades past was one of the best things I have done in a while. I kept picturing lines of ’57 Chevys, pink Cadillac El Dorados, and ’59 Edsels filling the stone covered lot now covered in inches of pine needles and moss.  The audio ports were still stationed every 10 feet. I imagined pulling in and claiming a space next to your best friends ride, turning up the volume on the bright lime green audio station, grabbing some buttery popcorn from the concession stand, and watching movies like “Scared Stiff”, “Planet of the Apes”, or “Valley of the Dolls”.

I know that many of my friends have been wanting to check out the land (which is currently for sale and has been for several years now) that is home to the Shore Drive-In. Pretty neat to explore a place like this - you can tell that there are memories galore and many great nights were spent at this theater.

For more information about the Shore Drive-In, read my full-article here. Enjoy!

1 comment:

Nelly said...

I always am saddened to see drive ins closed down What memories they hold for so many people.Maybe one day they will start them up again I reckon they would go down well for the new generation