The Westbury Drive-In may give way to a multiplex theater, but its spirit could remain alive ¬ only transplanted ¬ if an upstate businessman finalizes a deal to purchase its equipment and use it to build a new drive--in, which he would name, in a sentimental gesture, the Westbury Drive-In.
According to Howard Hogan Jr., who co-owns the drive-in, Frank Seibert, owner of multiple drive-ins located in upstate New York, has been considering a deal for approximately three months that would bring the Westbury Drive-In to Newburgh. "He has expressed interest in getting two of the screens and maybe the marquee sign," said Hogan.
There is also an outside possibility that the drive-in sign could be preserved by one of the new Nassau County museums in Mitchel Field, but Hogan believes it may not be in good enough condition to be accepted as an exhibit.
Hogan had offered the screens to the Town of Oyster Bay, which has vigorously battled in court to prevent the destruction of the drive-in believing that they would be perfect for its summer programs that take place in their parks and along their beaches. However, no one from the town has expressed interest.
Whatever happens to the screens and marquee, assured Hogan, "they won't just be destroyed."
While some local Jericho residents are disappointed that a place which has engendered such fond memories is closing, they just might get the chance to treasure some final moments there. Because the Albany Court of Appeals has not yet ruled as to whether Oyster Bay will be granted an appeal, Hogan and co-owner Eleanor Lerner are contemplating opening the theater for one last season.
"Even though we lose money on it, we lose less money when we operate it as compared to when we don't," explained Hogan.
Frank Seibert was not available for comment.