Preserving the history of New York state Drive-in Theatres

Home > New York Drive-ins by Region > Western New York Region > Erie County Drive-ins > Buffalo Drive-in

Buffalo Drive-in
Status: Closed
Location: 3085 Harlem Rd, Cheektowaga, NY 14225
Screens: 3
Capacity: original capacity for 900 cars in 1941; expanded to three screens and 1,200 cars in 1974.
Original owner: Built by Irving Gandall and Paul Witntner; operated later by Alvin Wright and Fabian Valentine; operated later by Tom & Steve Valentine.
Opening date: August 1, 1941; Rebuilt/reopening date on July 18, 1974.
Final season: 2007
What's there now: Medical office park, snackbar being used as maintenance building, all other structures have been demolished.

This page was last updated on November 8, 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 1995, courtesy of TerraServer USA. Aerial image from 1951, courtesy of the Erie County Division of Information & Support Services. Aerial image from 1966, courtesy of the Erie County Soil and Water Conservation District. Aerial image from 1978, courtesy of the Erie County Soil and Water Conservation District.
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 image from 2006, courtesy of Google Earth. Aerial close-up image from 2006, courtesy of Google Earth. Aerial extra-close-up image from 2006, courtesy of Google Earth. Buffalo Drive-in parking lot layout, plans from 1973, courtesy of Steve Valentine.
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.
Grand opening ad from the Buffalo Evening News on July 31, 1941. Heavy rains forced the opening to be delayed one day, until August 1. Grand opening article from the Buffalo Courier Express on July 31, 1941. Grand opening article from the Buffalo Courier Express on August 1, 1941. Grand opening article from the Buffalo Evening News on August 1, 1941.
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.
Grand opening ad from the Buffalo Evening News on August 1, 1941. Now opening article from the Buffalo Evening News on August 2, 1941. Grand reopening ad from the Buffalo Evening News on July 18, 1974. Buffalo Drive-in during reconstruction from 1973, courtesy of Mike Carroll.
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.
Buffalo Drive-in during reconstruction from 1973, courtesy of Mike Carroll. Buffalo Drive-in marquee from 2000, courtesy of Drive-ins.com. Buffalo Drive-in marquee at night from 2007, courtesy of Tom McDonald. Buffalo Drive-in ticket booth from 2007, courtesy of Doug Benz.
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.
Buffalo Drive-in screen 1, image from 2007 courtesy of Rick Cohen. Buffalo Drive-in screen 2, image from 2007 courtesy of Rick Cohen. Buffalo Drive-in screen 3, image from 2007 courtesy of Rick Cohen. Buffalo Drive-in snackbar, image from 2007 courtesy of Rick Cohen.
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.
Buffalo Drive-in snackbar, image from 2007 courtesy of Rick Cohen. Buffalo Drive-in snackbar, image from 2007 courtesy of Rick Cohen. Samantha Boyd, 6, waited to see “The Simpsons Movie” on screen 2 at the Buffalo Drive-in, image from 2007, courtesy of Doug Benz. Screen 1 is shown in the background. Buffalo Drive-in projection booth, image from 2007 courtesy of Rick Cohen.
Click on image to view at full size. Click on image to view at full size. Click on image to view at full size.
Former Buffalo Drive-in entrance from Harlem Road, image from 2010 courtesy of Rick Cohen. Former Buffalo Drive-in snackbar is now being used as a maintenance building, image from 2010 courtesy of Rick Cohen. Medical building on site of former Buffalo Drive-in, image from 2010 courtesy of Rick 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

Loved the Buffalo Drive In. Went on many dates there and brought my son to many movies there. I loved the snack bar also the location was good, not to far to drive to. I will miss it.
#1 - Judy Pajak - 01/31/2010 - 20:29
Dear Fellow Drive-In Goers,
Anyone remember the Orleans County Drive-In in the rural area of Albion, New York? I used to go in the late 1950's and 1960's with my Ma and Dad. Also, I used to go with my neighbors. It has been closed now for quite a few years, but what better place to have it than in the country.
Thank you for your time.

Sincerely,
Todd DeFrank
#2 - Todd DeFrank - 03/28/2011 - 15:29
I live right off of genesee st and Harlem rd so I lived fairly close to the drive in and had been goin there since I was a child... Go times and family fun will never forget tht place
#3 - Scott Steinwandel - 02/28/2012 - 12:53
Glen Beck has the Buffalo Drive-in sign. He uses it once in awhile as a back drop on his GBTV Network.
We grew up with that sign. Especially being so close to the little league field in Cheektowaga NY.

#4 - Joe Federico - 12/18/2012 - 17:23
>-(>-(>-(:oops:I hate that they closed it down:oops::oops::-( me and my ma used to come down their , the snack bar was soooooo cool; now it's a medical center and the snack bar is a matinence center(stoopid idea) I wish someone else would have bought it so that it could still be open :-(........
#5 - Edit 360 - 04/29/2013 - 15:26
Our family went to Buffalo drivein all the time. We moved right behind the drive in and watched it from our bedroom windows. Really miss it.
#6 - Elsie Swarthout - 06/13/2014 - 07:48
I too loved the Buffalo Drive-in. My 1st exposure to drive-in's was the Sheridan Drive-in which sat beside where the I-290 meets the 190. Lived there. And they say there's no such thing as the good old days... The only one we have left is Transit Drive-in. Beautiful drive-in. Hope we never lose it. Lets support it.
#7 - Sam P Tiranno - 08/05/2014 - 19:31
For 5 years I rented a whole house in the projects right next to the drive-in. We used to watch movies for free by sitting on our front porch. Sound was good too.
#8 - David Reichlin - 08/23/2014 - 20:30
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.