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Sheridan Drive-in
Status: Demolished
Location: 700 Ensminger Road, Tonawanda, NY 14150
Screens: 2 (second screen added in 1970)
Capacity: 700 cars
Original owner: Built by Irving Cohen, Sidney Cohen, Harry Seeberg, and Leonard Steinhorn.
Opening date: July 7, 1950
Final season: 1981
What's there now: Interstate Commerce Centre, owned by Uniland Development.

This page was last updated on January 26, 2010.

The Sheridan actually had two incarnations; the original theatre, built in 1950, was replaced in 1957 when the I-190/I-290 Interchange forced the drive-in to be reloacted more than 1,000 feet further east on Ensminger Drive. The new Sheridan Drive-in would boast an indoor seating area where you could watch the movie, a larger snackbar, and a CinemaScope screen reputed to be one of the largest in the northeast.

 

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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 2006, courtesy of Google Earth.
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Aerial close-up image from 2006, courtesy of Google Earth. Grand opening tomorrow ad from the Buffalo Evening News on July 6, 1950. Grand opening tonight article from the Buffalo Evening News on July 7, 1950. Sheridan Drive-in screen 1, image courtesy of Dominic Scalzo.
Click on image to view at full size. Click on image to view at full size. Click on image to view at full size.  
Office park sign at site of former Sheridan Drive-in, image from 2007 courtesy of Rick Cohen. Office park sign at site of former Sheridan Drive-in, image from 2007 courtesy of Rick Cohen. Office building at site of former Sheridan Drive-in, image from 2007 courtesy of Rick Cohen.  

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Sadly the Drive INN where I saw The Werewolf of Washington " is gone.But it's memory still lives on , I still have one of the Rental Electromode Drive inn Heaters Made in Rochester NY with "THE SHERIDAN DRIVE INN" "Tonawanda NY" Engraved in case from the 60's And it still keeps my paws warm in the cold Fulton NY winters.
#1 - Werwolf - 01/31/2015 - 20:09
Does anyone remember, is this drive in that was visible from Rt. 290? I remember driving back from NF, (circa 1978) and when you were going from Rt. 190 S to Rt. 290 E you had a clear view of the screen.

One night I found a friend who had pulled over on the 290 to watch an R rated movie and fell asleep. Family says I'm nuts it couldn't happen, but I'm certain that where it was. Can I get some support here?
#2 - Rick - 08/03/2015 - 15:43
Yes Rick, you are correct! The drive-in was located right where the 190 & 290 meet and you could clearly view the one screen from the thruway. I grew up in a nearby neighborhood & have childhood memories of seeing the other screen from my upstairs bedroom window. Sadly, of the 4 drive-ins that were operating while I was growing up, only 1 remains. I still go there from time to time. Good times!!!

Ron B.
#3 - Ron B - 09/06/2015 - 13:16
WOW !!! CANT BELIEVE IT .,. I WAS SITTING AT MY DESK AND HAD A FLASH BACK.. I REMEMBER WE WOULD GO TO THE SHERIDAN DRIVE- IN THEATER ALL THE TIME..I SAW ONE OF MY FIRST CONCERTS THERE.. A UP COMING NEW BAND CALLED "TALLAS". I HAVE TO SAY MY DAY IS NOW COMPLETE!! ALWAYS A GOOD TIME !
#4 - STEVE M - 11/03/2015 - 10:17
I have a speaker from the old Sheridan Drive-In, that fell off on the last day it was open. If you would like a picture of it, let me know? Gary
#5 - Gary A. - 03/16/2017 - 15:36
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