Wednesday 4th September 1991
Route 35 Theater in Hazlit, the last drive-in in New Jersey, US closed. Opened in June 1956, its first movie was The Searchers starring John Wayne and Magnificent Roughnecks starring Jack Carson. Built on a former watermelon farm it was originally destined for a shopping center but instead a drive-in was built to provide an all-inclusive night for both the parents and children. The property was surrounded by landscaping and tree walls to block the screen and viewing area from the traffic on the then-moderately busy Route 35. The theater offered free admission for children, a fully equipped concession stand that sold boardwalk food such as hot dogs, hamburgers and pizza in addition to the movie fare of popcorn and candies, and restrooms. For the children, it offered a circus-themed playground with electric rides and miniature ride-on train with a diesel engine and a clown to help supervise the children. The theater operated for 35 years until an economic boom along the corridor and a turn towards enclosed movie theaters resulted in its closure. The former site later became a Costco and an enclosed movie theater.