Preserving the history of New York state Drive-in Theatres

Home > New York Drive-ins by Region > Southern Tier Region > Chautauqua County Drive-ins > Van Buren Drive-in

VAN BUREN DRIVE-IN
Status: Abandoned
Location: 5401 W. Lake Rd., Rte 5 at Van Buren Rd., Dunkirk, NY 14048
Screens: 1
Capacity: 800 cars
Original owner: Irving Cohen; sold to Dipson Theatres in 1979; currently for sale.
Opening date: July 15, 1949
Final season: 1991
What's there now: Abandoned drive-in with screen tower, concession building, marquee, ticket office, parking ramps.

This page was last updated on January 16, 2010.

Click on image to view at full size. Click on image to view at full size. Click on image to view at full size. Click on image to view at full size.
Topo Map from 1990, courtesy of TerraServer USA. Aerial image from 1966, courtesy of the Chautauqua County Soil and Water Conservation District. Aerial image taken in 1994, courtesy of TerraServer USA. Aerial image from 2006, courtesy of Google Earth.
Click on image to view at full size. Click on image to view at full size.
Click on image to view at full size.
Click on image to view at full size.
Aerial close-up image from 2006, courtesy of Google Earth. Grand opening tonight article from the Dunkirk Evening Observer on June 15, 1949. Grand opening picture from the Dunkirk Evening Observer on June 15, 1949. Grand opening FULL PAGE ad from the Dunkirk Evening Observer on June 15, 1949.
Click on image to view at full size. Click on image to view at full size. Click on image to view at full size. Click on image to view at full size.
Opening for the season ad from the Dunkirk Evening Observer on April 19, 1950. Opening for the season article from the Dunkirk Evening Observer on April 20, 1950. Car giveaway ad from the Fredonia Censor on August 14, 1952. Van Buren Drive-in program cover, courtesy of drive-ins.com website.
Click on image to view at full size. Click on image to view at full size. Click on image to view at full size. Click on image to view at full size.
Van Buren Drive-in entrance from 2007, courtesy of Dave Cohen. Van Buren Drive-in screen tower from 2007, courtesy of Dave Cohen. Van Buren Drive-in screen tower from 2007, courtesy of Dave Cohen. Van Buren Drive-in snackbar from 2007, courtesy of Dave Cohen.

[ New York Drive-ins by Region ] [Open New York Drive-ins ] [ New York Drive-in Statistics ]

[ History of the American Drive-in Theatre ] [ Google Earth Map of New York Drive-ins ] [ Drive-in Links ] [ Email ]

 

Comment Script

Post this page to: del.icio.us Yahoo! MyWeb Digg reddit Furl Blinklist Spurl

Share your memories

We used to have so much fun there as kids!!
Sad it looks like this now...
#1 - Lynda serafin reese - 08/10/2010 - 12:39
The drive-in was so much fun!!! its so sad to see it all overgrown. Thanks to whomever put this site together. Fun memories!!!
#2 - Susan Craghead - 08/31/2010 - 17:33
This was the best -- we used to walk-in, sit in the front on blankets. It was a great time. Wish it could be restored.
#3 - Peggy Stubbs - 09/01/2010 - 05:04
We were recently talking to the owner and are considering the possibility of re-opening it.
#4 - dakota9931 - 12/10/2010 - 12:33
I drive past the Van Buren every year when we go camping at Lake Erie State Park. It would be great to see it restored. The potential is there...
#5 - Chris C - 12/13/2010 - 18:37
I would love to see The Van Buren Drive-In Theater reopen. It is so sad to see it abandon. I would love to help reopen it if someone bought it. I really hope someone buys it and reopens it.
#6 - Eric - 01/10/2011 - 17:34
The latest round of storm that pass through tore down the screen.
http://www.observertoday.com/page/content.detail/id/565610/Lots-of-tree-damage-in-Fredonia--Van-Buren.html?nav=5047
#7 - Cory - 11/16/2011 - 09:43
We're working on a story for a local paper about this old theatre. Would anyone have the information on current or former ownership?

Thanks!

Scott Wise
scott.wise@star-mediagroup.com
#8 - Scott - 11/15/2013 - 13:11
Name
E-mail (Will not appear online)
Comment
;-) :-) :-D :-( :-o >-( B-) :oops: :-[] :-P
To prevent automated Bots form spamming, please enter the text you see in the image below in the appropriate input box. Your comment will only be submitted if the strings match. Please ensure that your browser supports and accepts cookies, or your comment cannot be verified correctly.



Powered by Comment Script

NewYorkDriveins.com is not affiliated with the above mentioned drive-in.

© 2008-2010 NewYorkDriveins.com. All rights reserved.