US 219 at Sand Flat Rd., 6 miles north of Oakland, Md. (2 miles south of Deep Creek Lake)
capacity: 200 cars
years of operation: 1954-circa 1988
currently: Garrett's Eden landscaping & garden center. Screen and ticket booth remain; concession/projection building has been incorporated into the present retail building.
I'm familiar with the 219 Drive-In Theatre in Garrett County, MD because
I used to live across the street from it. My folks owned the Dreamland Motel
from 1975-1990; it's the L-shaped building across the street from the Drive-In
in the satellite photo. I've circled/marked the photo for ease of reference
though admittedly my mouse-writing looks like a child's attempts with a
"...There used to be very tall pine trees all along a corrugated steel fence that bordered Route 219 (which are all gone now) that were there to block the headlights of cars coming up Sand Flat Road (which was the intersection facing the screen) that made for an easy way to sneak into the Drive-In. If I didn't care to sneak in under the fence and through the pines, I could always catch a movie from the roof of our motel. The Drive-In sound system was loud enough to be heard from there and the Drive-In would also broadcast the movie over the radio as well.
"The longest lines for the Drive-In were always when an XXX feature was playing. I knew when the Drive-In sound system went down because all the cars would honk their horns nonstop until it came back up. The funniest memory I have was when my brother, myself, and some of my brother's friends went in under the fence to watch some movie. We became bored so we went to the concession stand/projection booth building to get something. We saw a toad hopping around there and decided to put him up in the projection slot whereupon he cast a huge hopping shadow up on the screen and of course the cars all started honking away.
"Well, no point writing a book here. If I remember right, the Drive-In closed around 1988 or thereabout...around the same time the county birth rate started going down ;-) . Anyway, hope the info. here is of some interest or use... Thanks for bringing back some memories." -- Peter Dolan
Click here to see the 1995 aerial photograph depicting the former drive-in lot, in larger scale.
Click here for a page containing some 1963-vintage photos of the drive-in marquee and lot, taken from a local high-school yearbook. "[The marquee] used to be very high off the ground on a huge stone base that had flowers growing in it at one time. I used to climb up it at night and fool with the letters; write all kinds of havoc." -- Peter Dolan
Below are photos taken by myself of the site
in September 2000:
The letterboard part of this sign was most likely taken from the drive-in marquee.
Shown on side of ticket booth (upside down): "1.75 EA." -- the last admission price to the 219.
A closer view of the still-standing screen.
Got some additional information, or some pictures
or stories about this drive-in
you'd like to share? Email me -- thanks!