Finger Lakes Drive-In: A Classic American Experience


Are you looking for a unique and nostalgic way to enjoy your favorite movies? Look no further than the Finger Lakes Drive-In! For over 70 years, this family-owned outdoor theater has been entertaining generations of moviegoers in the heart of New York’s wine country. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the history, atmosphere, and special features that make the Finger Lakes Drive-In a must-visit destination for film enthusiasts.

The History of the Finger Lakes Drive-In

The Finger Lakes Drive-In first opened in 1952, during the heyday of outdoor theaters in America. Located in the town of Auburn, the Finger Lakes Drive-In quickly established itself as a beloved local institution. Over the years, it has weathered changes in technology and consumer habits, but has remained a popular destination for families and couples looking for a fun and affordable night out.

The Atmosphere

The Finger Lakes Drive-In offers a unique moviegoing experience that can’t be replicated in a traditional indoor theater. As you pull into the gravel lot, you’ll be greeted by the sight of a giant outdoor screen and rows of cars parked in front of it. You’ll tune your radio to the designated frequency, and settle in for a cozy evening under the stars. The sound quality is crystal-clear, and the fresh air and open space make for a refreshing change of pace from the typical movie theater experience.

The Special Features

In addition to showing the latest Hollywood blockbusters, the Finger Lakes Drive-In offers a range of special events and features throughout the year. For example, they host an annual classic car show, which draws auto enthusiasts from all over the region. They also offer double-features on weekends and holidays, giving you more bang for your buck. And if you’re in the mood for a snack or a drink, the concession stand offers all your favorite movie treats, as well as local wines and beers.

Tips for Enjoying Your Visit

Here are a few tips to help you make the most of your visit to the Finger Lakes Drive-In:

Check the Schedule

Before you head out to the theater, be sure to check the schedule online. The Finger Lakes Drive-In typically shows two movies each night, and the start times can vary depending on the season and the day of the week. Plan ahead to make sure you arrive in time for the movie you want to see.

Bring Your Own Snacks

While the concession stand at the Finger Lakes Drive-In offers a great selection of movie snacks, you can save money by bringing your own. Pack a cooler with your favorite drinks and snacks, and enjoy a picnic-style meal while you watch the movie.

Bring a Blanket or Lawn Chairs

While you’ll be watching the movie from the comfort of your car, it’s a good idea to bring a blanket or lawn chairs to sit on outside. This will give you more flexibility to move around and stretch your legs during the movie.

Be Prepared for the Weather

The weather in the Finger Lakes region can be unpredictable, so be sure to pack accordingly. Bring warm blankets and jackets for cooler nights, and sunscreen and bug spray for warmer evenings.


The Finger Lakes Drive-In is more than just a movie theater – it’s a piece of Americana that has stood the test of time. Whether you’re a lifelong fan of outdoor theaters or just looking for a fun and unique night out, the Finger Lakes Drive-In is a destination worth checking out. So grab your friends or family, pack a picnic, and get ready for a night of movie magic under the stars!