Sayville drive-in movie theater planned for June opening


Plans are developing for a drive-in movie theater to pop up in Sayville as soon as June.

Greater Sayville Chamber of Commerce President Eileen Tyznar confirmed this evening that the chamber applied for permits today with Islip Town to show recently released movies — drive-in style – at an undisclosed location that features plenty of room for a movie screen and parking. The location is pending approval.

“It’s going to be a fun-filled community event and a great way to get people out for some much needed fun and family entertainment,” Tyznar said. “We will be taking all of the necessary precautions, enforcing social distancing and keeping community safety top priority.”

The plan calls for movie showings on Friday and Saturday nights, as well as Saturday and Sunday afternoon matinees. Initially, the theater would show family movies, but Tyznar said other genres would be explored, depending on the interest level. 

Audio from the movies will be broadcast over a radio signal, enabling the sound to be piped into the cars. For the occasional automobile that doesn’t have a working radio inside, speaker poles will be safely made available, Tyznar said.

Customers will pay a flat, per car rate online for paperless tickets, with proceeds going toward the Greater Sayville Chamber “Small Business Relief Fund” and benefitting the Greater Sayville Chamber of Commerce, which has had numerous events cancelled this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Indoor theaters, including Sayville Cinemas, have been closed for two months, due to restrictions in place to help control the spread of COVID-19. Across the world, drive-ins are gaining in popularity amid coronavirus lockdown measures.

Tyznar said thoughts of a drive-in theater in Sayville had been tossed around for weeks. But the idea picked up steam this week when Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that drive-in movie theaters could start opening May 15 in New York, as part of an easing of some coronavirus pandemic restrictions.

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