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Newark’s historic Rose City Drive-In undergoes revival thanks to local developer

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  • Staff Report 

After nearly four decades of lying vacant, Newark’s once-thriving Rose City Drive-In Theater is receiving a new lease of life from local business owner and lifelong resident, Paul Cole.

Purchasing the 16-acre property earlier this year, Cole embarked on a comprehensive restoration project aimed at reviving this beloved Route 31 landmark.

Finger Lakes Partners (Billboard)

Despite the decay from nature’s takeover and the demolition of original buildings, the still-standing galvanized steel projection screen from 1955 has remained a promising factor in the site’s rebirth.

As part of the refurbishment, a new concession building, restrooms, full kitchen facilities, and a state-of-the-art projection unit from Belgium are in the works.

While the official opening date remains uncertain, Cole anticipates a test event with friends and family this fall. To keep up with the restoration progress and updates, interested individuals can follow the Rose City Drive-In on Facebook.

The former Rose City Drive-In when it was still abandoned. Credit: Ken McIntyre.