Auto Group: "our plans include rejuvenated drive-in theater"

By WKTV News

ROME, N.Y. (WKTV) - The West Rome Drive-In, which many residents at a meeting last night called a "historical landmark" of their community, could remain open, despite a land deal with a local auto group.

Zurich Cinema Corporation owns the drive-in and is currently in talks to sell the land to Davidson Auto Group. The news hit home with local movies goers who said the drive-in has been a Rome landmark and entertained young and old alike for 60 years.

However, residents' fears may have been alleviated Friday when the Davidson Auto Group released a statement saying their business plans include a Drive-In movie theater.

"At the Davidson Auto Group, we pride ourselves as members of the Rome community. As a local, family owned business since 1962, we continue to invest in the preservation and development of our city's culture. Regarding the future of the West Rome Drive-in, we are proud to announce our intention to include a rejuvenated drive-in theater along with a brand new, state of the art Davidson GM dealership, unlike any other in central NY. Much of the current 14 acre property is undeveloped, and will provide plenty of room for such plans, subject to City of Rome planning approval. We hope you will join us in supporting the continued cultural and economic development of our community."

The Rome Drive-In is one of less than 30 left in New York State and many Rome residents, like Emily Hayes, say they have a lifetime of memories attached to the facility.

"I would take my kid in their pajamas because they were always asleep by the time the movie ended and we went home and just put them to bed," says Hayes Thursday night.

There are two Facebook pages dedicated to saving the drive-in, with more than 2,000 supporters gained in just 24 hours time.

The deal between Zurich and Davidson Auto Group is still in the stage of discussions.

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