Mahoning Drive-In Theater Opens Friday for Its 75th Season

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Lehighton, PA – May 9, 2024- The Mahoning Drive-In Theater, located on Seneca Road in Lehighton, will open its gates for its 75th season on Friday, May 10th with their traditional kickoff 35mm double feature of THE WIZARD OF OZ (1939) and WILLY WONKA AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY (1971).

Both films will also play on Saturday night, with the order reversed. The on-site season celebration will include costumed characters, themed décor in and around the snack bar, a Golden Ticket Contest, and more of the immersive, film-loving festivities that lure attendees from across the country year after year.

Gates will open at 6pm each night, with films starting at sundown.

“We’re coming into this season excited to reunite with our customers,” said Virgil Cardamone, owner and film booker, “but also with heavy hearts, having lost our longtime business owner, master projectionist, and friend, Jeff Mattox only weeks ago. Our plan is to carry on in his memory, heading into the future while embracing the past and Jeff’s love of classic film.”

Cardamone said that the Mahoning has over 200 screenings in the works, spanning all genres, hitting the Mahoning Drive-In screen (one of the biggest on the east coast) between May and the last weekend in October, including annual events like Zombie Fest, Remake Double-Take (this year featuring two William Castle black and white classics, and their late 90s remakes) and VHS Fest, as well as a special 75th Anniversary show, Muppets Take Mahoning II, Thursday Thread-Ups, Sunday daytime vendor markets, and more.

Mark Nelson, Mahoning General Manager added, “While we’ve had a late start this season due to unfortunate circumstances, we’ve got a six-month stack of wonderful, weird and wild big-screen entertainment lined up, sure to thrill the casual and serious classic film fan. Our commitment will always be to present shows you can’t see anywhere else, and keep this little corner of Carbon County a film fan destination.”

Indeed, the Mahoning is the only Drive-In theater in the country whose programming is comprised entirely of 35mm classic films, and its unique programming and showmanship have made it the subject of many news pieces and two major documentaries, AT THE DRIVE-IN in 2017 (detailing the theater’s initial struggle in going against the digital, first-run grain), and featured in the French Max documentary UNDER THE STARS, alongside five other unique outdoor theaters across the country.

A full list of events and ticket links can be found at or on their Facebook page.

Anyone interested in learning more about the theater, featured press, or scheduling tours may contact Virgil Cardamone directly at (215)-450-5914.

About the Mahoning Drive-In Theater: The Mahoning Drive-In Theater is located at 635 Seneca Road west of Lehighton, Pennsylvania. It was built in 1947, and opened for its first season in 1949. Since then, it has entertained moviegoers for over half a century on the largest CinemaScope screen in Pennsylvania! The theater has experienced many successes over the past few years, but their goal will never change: To deliver a true love of film, film-making, and the nostalgic moviegoing experience you can only get at the Drive-In!