A Saco water park says it will revive the city’s historic drive-in movie theater in a new location.
The announcement from Aquaboggan Water Park on Friday came less than one month after the Saco Drive-In announced it was closing after 83 years. A trailer dealership purchased the location and plans to relocate there.
The theater was the third oldest drive-in in the U.S., having screened its first film before World War II began, and by far the oldest in Maine.
But Aquaboggan General Manager Ethan Mongue said the drive-in would have a new life at the water park. There is no set timeline for the project yet though. Aquaboggan is currently working to secure all the necessary permits, Mongue said.
In the meantime, the park has obtained the Saco Drive-In sign as well as several other “historical items” from the old theater. They were donated by Hale Trailer, the company that bought the former location, Mongue said.
“We are doing everything we can to keep this local icon thriving for generations to come,” Mongue said.
Saco City Administrator Bryan Kaenrath said the water park is in contact with Saco’s economic development department. While the city won’t contribute funds to the project, Kaenrath said it will help the water park obtain whatever permits or approvals are necessary to open the new theater.
“We are glad to see some version of the Saco Drive-In continue to be a part of the community,” Kaenrath said.
In a city that was devastated by the potential loss of its historic drive-in, the announcement from Aquaboggan generated significant local excitement. A Facebook post from the park announcing its plans quickly received over 500 shares.