Greenland Drive-in Theater and / or S...

Greenland Drive-in Theater and / or Scotty's Motel?

Posted in the Machias Forum

Memory lane

Thousand Oaks, CA

#1 Nov 4, 2010
In the late '50's / early 60's my family stayed at what I remember as a Scotty's Motel in or near Machias, very memorable because it had a drive-in movie theater behind it. You could watch the movie from a rear window in your room, and the sound was piped in through a speaker. Internet searches haven't found any reference to a Scotty's Motel, but I did find a Greenland Drive In (possibly with a motel)...likely the same place. If anyone remembers, can you tell me where exactly it was and whether the drive in or the motel are still around?
Kathy Harmon

Nashua, NH

#2 Feb 21, 2011
Memory lane wrote:
In the late '50's / early 60's my family stayed at what I remember as a Scotty's Motel in or near Machias, very memorable because it had a drive-in movie theater behind it. You could watch the movie from a rear window in your room, and the sound was piped in through a speaker. Internet searches haven't found any reference to a Scotty's Motel, but I did find a Greenland Drive In (possibly with a motel)...likely the same place. If anyone remembers, can you tell me where exactly it was and whether the drive in or the motel are still around?
My grandmother managed the Greenland Theater Motel in Machias, ME for 12 years beginning in the late 1950's. Recently while going through some photos with her we found pictures of the motel and theater being built. She and my grandfather are in many of these photos, as well as Mr. William Green, Jr., proprietor. One photo shows my mother, me and my grandmother looking out to the movie screen from inside one of the rooms. This photo was featured in Popular Science magazine, July 1960, page 77 (see Popular Science archives on the web). The motel burned, but the second addition of units still remain on Route 1, just over the Machias line in East Machias. I drive by the units regularly and always fond memories flow through my mind. I have many personal memories of the Greenland Theater Motel, one of my favorties watching Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds. I also received a memorable gift when I was staying at the motel with my grandmother, my Beatle Dolls, which I still have and I can remember opening them while sitting on her bed...wish I had kept the packages. I recently found some memebers of the Green family while doing some research on the internet. This is what brought me to your comment. I am organizing the photos in chronological order to the best of my ability. Would love to hear from other people who remember the Greenland Theater Motel in Machias (E. Machias)
Memory lane

Thousand Oaks, CA

#3 Apr 9, 2011
Kathy Harmon wrote:
<quoted text>
My grandmother managed the Greenland Theater Motel in Machias, ME for 12 years beginning in the late 1950's. Recently while going through some photos with her we found pictures of the motel and theater being built. She and my grandfather are in many of these photos, as well as Mr. William Green, Jr., proprietor. One photo shows my mother, me and my grandmother looking out to the movie screen from inside one of the rooms. This photo was featured in Popular Science magazine, July 1960, page 77 (see Popular Science archives on the web). The motel burned, but the second addition of units still remain on Route 1, just over the Machias line in East Machias. I drive by the units regularly and always fond memories flow through my mind. I have many personal memories of the Greenland Theater Motel, one of my favorties watching Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds. I also received a memorable gift when I was staying at the motel with my grandmother, my Beatle Dolls, which I still have and I can remember opening them while sitting on her bed...wish I had kept the packages. I recently found some memebers of the Green family while doing some research on the internet. This is what brought me to your comment. I am organizing the photos in chronological order to the best of my ability. Would love to hear from other people who remember the Greenland Theater Motel in Machias (E. Machias)
Kathy, thanks for your reply! Maybe you'll also remember there was a small play area across the back parking lot under or near the movie screen, with a slide and swing set? I have a picture of me there on the slide c. 1959/1960. Not sure where the name "Scotty's" came from...my mom referred to it that way, maybe confused...but there's no doubt it's the same place. I remember leaving a favorite toy in our room once and being very surprised coming back about 2 months later that they had kept it at the desk...but we were somewhat "regulars" for a awhile so I guess they figured we'd be back. Amazing to think of that kind of service today. Hope you locate some others who remember this unique place. By the way, any idea about what year the motel burned down?
Kathy Harmon

Nashua, NH

#4 Apr 11, 2011
Yes, I sure do remember the swing set and slide. I played there many, many times. It actually was located just outside of the concession building. The movie screen was further back behind the concession bldg. My father ran the projector and I remember going into the little room where he ran it, which was located inside the concession building. I have a picture of me and a little girl named Kim W. I think I was maybe 7 years old... We are sitting on the concrete walkway in front of one of the units playing with paperdolls. I am not sure when the motel burned. I think it was in the mid to late 90's. I have walked out behind the remaining units....there is still some wire from the speakers out there. I went out to where the movie screen and concession stand once were....found strands of what I believe was movie reel. I also found some nice bog cranberries, too! Was glad to see you read my reply. I hope to do some research on the Greenland Theater and Motel for our town's historical society and know my grandmother can help me with it, too.
Evelyn LouiseTozier

Blue Hill, ME

#5 Jul 27, 2012
Kathy,
My Mother worked for Mr.Green for years...If you have any pictures of the Motel or Mr.Green I would love to see them... Thank you!!
Tennille

Buxton, ME

#6 Jul 27, 2012
My grandmother worked there as well. Her name was Barbra Ackley. What ever happened to Mr. Green? He is my mother's bio father and I cannot find anything about him to put in my family tree, so any info would be great. Thank you.
Evelyn LouiseTozier

Blue Hill, ME

#7 Jul 28, 2012
Tennille,
I found his obit. and sent it to you,I aswell found a number for a Willian Green in schenectady,NY.I called it and pray for a call back!:)
Kathy Harmon

Nashua, NH

#8 Aug 13, 2012
Evelyn,
I do have a few photos. My grandmother remembers your mother. She said she was a good worker. Perhaps if you ever visit this area we could meet and I will show you the pictures that I have.
David-New Hampshire

Worcester, MA

#9 Dec 12, 2012
Kathy: I remember Greenland Drive-In very well. I didn't get to go to a movie there when I lived in E.Machias during the beautiful 60's. But I would have loved too.
The Greenland Drive-In was such an exceptional place! No question of that. A very cool place to watch a classic movie.
I remember one night going to Greenland Drive-In with my father while a movie was showing.Dad parked next to the concession stand and went inside to ask the manager if there were any projectionist openings.
I couldn't get over how immense the screen was in front of me! It was like the movie was filling the entire windshield! I felt like I was immersed in the movie! I had never experienced that before. Quite the moment!
The movie that was playing that night was The Three Stooges Meet Snow White.
Kathy,are you aware that The E.Machias Historical Society issues a yearly calendar concerning an historical place of interest in the town? You mentioned that you had photos of Greenland Drive-In. It is quite possible that you have enough photos to compile a calendar through the Historical Society. That would be so cool! A calendar devoted to that very special drive-in.
Kathy Harmon

Boothbay, ME

#10 Jan 11, 2013
David, I sure am aware of the East Machias Historical Society and their production of a historical calendar each year. They began doing that in 2000 and have just produced the latest one, 2013, which features old postcards of East Machias. I belong to the society and worked with Christine Small for many hours last fall on the latest current calendar. We also sell bundles of past calendars and have recently updated our brochure. We are a very small group and would like to increase our memebership so the work does not fall to just a few. I have many nice photos of the building of the Greenland Motel and some after the construction. I would like to find more of the concession building, playground, parking area with speakers and ticket booth. There is a lady who owned the Greenland later on (by then named Maineland) who I have spoken to and plan to meet with sometime. Where did you live in East Machias? Did you go to the Town Hall School? Would you father have worked for the local radio station?
David Brown

Jay, ME

#11 Jan 12, 2013
Kathy: Thank you so much for responding. My sister sends me the E.Machias Historical Calendar every year. I enjoy it very much. You and the Society do such a wonderful job on this. I sincerely hope that you do a calendar devoted to Greenland Drive-In. From what you say,it sounds like you have more than enough photos to do this. Greenland was a very special place. It really needs to be recognized as such. Do you remember when a gale-force wind blew the screen down at Greenland? I believe it happened in 1968 during the off-season. The drive-in never reopened after this event. I have always wondered why. Perhaps building a new screen was too cost-prohibitive at the time. I remember that you said you saw 'The Birds'at Greenland. What a classic movie! My mother and father worked at The Colonial Theatre in Machias from 1962-1965. I saw 'The Birds' there during this timeframe. I'll never forget it. Scary and intense film! I lived in E.Machias from 1964-1970 on High Street beside the Congregational Church. I always look back on those years very,very fondly.To me,it was such a memorable and special time to be living there.'Something about that particular timeframe. Indeed I did attend Town Hall School. Town Hall was so much more of a one-on-one experience to me compared to other schools I had gone to. I loved it! Mrs.Bagley was my first teacher there. I believe my sister,Cindy was in your class.Indeed my father,Charlie worked at WMCS in Machias. Dad was one of the original announcers there when the station opened in December,1965. I became an announcer there in 1970 when I was a sophomore at Washington Academy. What were some of the other movies that you watched at Greenland that stood out to you,Kathy? What did they serve for snacks at the concession? Do you remember some of the projectionists there? I heard that Norman Nelson was a projectionist there at one time. What was the most popular movie that you can remember playing at Greenland? A movie that would have caused the drive-in to be sold-out during the engagement.
Kathy Harmon

Boothbay, ME

#12 Jan 16, 2013
David, My husband guessed who you were and yes, we remember Cindy, too. Oh, and WMCS....who could forget Charlie Brown. My grandmother is still living, though in a nursing home. I have asked her many questions about the Greenland, since she managed it for so many years. I have written a lot of it down. My father was a projectionist there and my mother often helped my grandmother choose the movies. There was competition from the Colonial Theatre. I have so many memories of the place. My favorite concession foods were the french fries and the Hoodsie Cups of ice cream with the wooden spoon. My guess would be that Gone With the Wind would have been the number one movie and would have sold out. I loved playing out back of the motel during the daytime, running from speaker to speaker and then climbing up onto the slide and sitting there looking the place all over. I felt like I owned this place myself. I remember the ticket booth, too. And how ironic, that many years later we purchased a piece of property and that very same ticket booth had been taken over to this property. It had been added onto and was too dilapitated to save, so it is no longer. I do have lots of photographs, most of them during construction, and am sure there are others around. I am uncertain the society would agree to a calendar dedicated to just one subject, but I am sure it would at least be considered. The group is very small and I think it would be nice to come up with other fundraising ideas. We have talked about writing the second 100 year history of East Machias, since 2026 will be here before long. It would no doubt take us that long to research it and then write it. It was nice sharing memories with you. Does Cindy still live around here?
David Brown

Jay, ME

#13 Jan 19, 2013
Kathy: Cindy lives in Eastport now. I loved the concept of being able to watch a drive-in movie from a motel room at Greenland. I wish dearly I could have experienced that. I just picture myself relaxing in an easy chair in my room at Greenland on a warm,star-filled summer night. A full moon suspended above the screen as 'Lawrence of Arabia'plays! What a magnificent view of a magnificent movie from my window! Truly a motion picture experience to always remember!
CHD

San Diego, CA

#14 Mar 13, 2013
I recall staying there at age 6, in July, 1969. My family was on a two-week camping vacation to Cobscook Bay.(Dad, Mom, and 2-year-old sister)Typical of Maine summer weather we got "a little" rain. and Mom insisted we stay in a motel for a night or two to dry out.
I'd love to get back to Washington Cty, but alas I live on the Left coast now...
Butch Pugh

San Francisco, CA

#15 Mar 26, 2014
My family moved to East Machias in 1966 from England. My father was stationed at Bucks Harbor. We had never been to a Drive-In before and didn't know such a thing existed. So you can imagine the thrill it was. I don't recall the first movie we saw but I do recall ice cream in a cup, popcorn and Clicquot Club pop. We went several more times during our two years in town. I have a better recollection of running around with other kids in the playground than I do of movies there.
My sister and I went to Town Hall School. My brother went to another elementary school (Elm?).
In the early 90s my brother and I visited East Machias, to see our old homes, the schools, and of course, the Greenland. Very disappointed not to see the drive-in. I took my daughter to East Machias several years later. Her response when I told her about the Greenland and motel: "That is so cool!"
Kathy Harmon

Boothbay, ME

#16 May 15, 2014
A few of my grandmother's photographs of the construction of the Greenland Theatre and Motel in East Machias, ME are on Facebook under Machias Memories, as well as a few newspaper clippings. I believe the date it opened was June 19, 1956. My grandmother, Ethel Roix, passed away on March 2 of this year at the age of 96. She shared with me some of her memories of the Greenland and I wrote them in a journal. One time while helping her do some cleaning I came across a tall green ceramic vase. It certainly wasn't anything that was especially attractive, but rather plain and simple. It didn't seem pretty enough for her taste and I never remembered it ever being displayed with a bouquet of flowers, so I casually asked her if it was something she wanted to keep or get rid of. Well, I found out the significance of it that day. She had received a dozen red roses from a group of young men who were helping to build the Bucks Harbor Air Force Station and were staying at the Greenland. They wanted to show their appreciation of her kindness to them while they were guests there. This place they called home while working away not only gave them comfort, but the luxury of a free movie each night. She remarked that they were wonderful guests with good manners. On her last ride with me in my car we drove by the remaining units. She looked longingly as we slowly drove by and said, "I miss that place." I am sure she did. The 50's and 60's were wonderful years for her and my grandfather. A trip to California in 1965 gave them both the opportunity to not only see Lawrence Welk, but she would dance with him and my grandfather played the trumpet in his band and the tune was "Red Roses for a Blue Lady." I miss them both and am grateful to have had them for my grandparents.
John Vomvoris

Budd Lake, NJ

#18 Jun 21, 2017
Hi Kathy Harmon and or David Brown,
I'm covering the Northeast Drive in theater and also doing the leftover documentary for all DIs. I got 90% covered in ME, but this Greenland DI always been very hard to find answers. I'm on my own page in FB which is The Speaker Post that covers DIs, anyway I'm in desperate looking for any pics of that Greenland DI from opening to closing or during that time . I know it;'s a short lived DI, Where can I find the pics or do you have it? Is it possible for me to see it? Where was the location exactly? I'm not finding it on the historic ariels and on Topos too! I'm in desperate for pics.. Thanks..

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