LOCKPORT, N.Y. (WIVB) — Nothing says a Friday night like a movie at the drive-in and it was a buzz, as movie fans from near and far filled the lots for their film of choice.
The Lockport landmark is celebrating a big milestone this year. On Friday, Transit Drive-In opened for their 70th season featuring several films for movie goers to enjoy.
“Drive-in theaters are a good thing for the community. They are really fun to have. We enjoy being here and in the summertime it is great to see the families and people enjoying themselves. That’s what it is all about,” Rick Cohen, owner of Transit Drive-In, said.
The Transit Drive-In opened its gates in 1952. Even during a time when a movie is just a click away, residents still venture to Transit Rd. just to experience it from their cars. To kick off the season, double features are scheduled for three of the screens, while a single movie, The Batman, played on the fourth. On those first three screens was The Lost City, Scream, Sing 2, Dog, Uncharted and Spider Man: No Way Home. The first movies to go on began at 8 p.m.
“We came a few times when I was a kid. I just like to do it for my kids more because I enjoyed it,” Richard Rose of Kenmore said.
Several Western New Yorkers told News 4 they came to the drive-in as children, but they are back now to enjoy it with their families, friends and even pets.
“I remember coming here as a kid a few times and then once we started getting dogs, we started coming more often. It is something we can do with our friends,” Nicole Argue of Tonawanda added.
For young movie watchers, they said they enjoyed being there with their families on a Friday night, grabbing their favorite snacks and playing at the playground before the movies began.
“It’s really fun to be here with my family and watch a movie,” Anna Rose of Kenmore continued.
The drive-in has survived as a staple in Western New York and it has even been an event center. In 2020, they say it was “the most attended outdoor gathering place in all of New York State” while COVID shut other businesses down, hosting everything from graduations to weddings.
“It was a surreal year, to put it mildly,” Transit Drive-In owner Rick Cohen wrote on Facebook.
Of course a highlight for many at the drive-in are the snacks and some favorites included Doritos, chips, candy, Cow Tails and of course popcorn.
While it may not feel like spring or summer outside, opening night at the drive-in is a sign that warmer weather is on the way. Sit back, relax and have a snack because the Transit Drive-In is back!
MORE | See the full schedule here.
Tara Lynch is a Buffalo native who joined the News 4 team as a reporter in 2022. She previously worked at WETM in Elmira, N.Y., a sister station of News 4. You can follow Tara on Facebook and Twitter and find more of her work here.