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Four Brothers named top drive in by national publications

AMENIA — For residents of the Harlem Valley and beyond, a night at the Four Brothers Drive-In Theatre is the pinnacle of summer, right alongside planning a trip to the beach, savoring an ice cream cone and watching fireworks burst overhead. 

The drive-in on Route 22 in Amenia has received much praise from those who have come to catch a show and enjoy the many amenities offered by the Stefanopoulos family since they opened it a few years back adjacent to their popular pizza restaurant. Now the local restaurateurs have learned their theater was voted among the top 10 drive-ins in the Northeast by USA Today in recent weeks.

On Thursday, Aug. 26, the USA Today article celebrated Amenia’s Four Brothers Drive-In as “possibly the only drive-in resort ever,” spotlighting its showing of first-run double features seven nights a week, the local musicians who play live music in the early evening and on-site offering of glamping and camping.

Co-owner John Stefanopoulos said he learned about the accolade from an email he received a week ago from the USA Today editors. He said he was “super delighted and honored that we were included in that and thought of in that light.

“That’s what we’re here for and we’re happy that people are hearing it and seeing it and appreciating it,” Stefanopoulos said.

He added he and his family were equally happy to learn their theater had been mentioned in an article published by the prestigious travel magazine Condé Nast Traveler. 

Published on Tuesday, Aug. 17, the article “The Best Places to Travel in October: Where to go for harvest festivals and Halloween fun” called attention to the Hudson Valley as a travel destination. It mentioned the Four Brothers Drive-In as an ideal spot for  people to visit during their travels.

When asked how the drive-in has fared during the 2021 screening season, Stefanopoulos reported it is continuing operations the same as last year, drawing a strong crowd of people from all over the region while keeping COVID-19 protocols in mind. 

Between familiar and new faces that have come out, he said the theater has experienced a rush of people who have attended the drive-in. The drive-in has also hosted a number of celebrities this summer, including Broadway legend-in-the-making Lin-Manuel Miranda, who hosted a private screening of the film “In the Heights” for his friends on July 19.

In addition to showing films on the main screen, the drive-in has been busy holding other events for the community this season, including a car show, a circus and even a wedding. The addition of its new mini-golf course has become a popular attraction as well. The theater has also played host to several local musicians who perform live on Friday and Saturday nights.

In addition to working with Silo Ridge to help promote the upcoming rodeo on Saturday, Oct. 2, Stefanopoulos said Four Brothers is hosting a Silo Ridge Takeover on Saturday, Sept. 18. From 6:30 to 10 p.m., the event will help promote area businesses and their services; Silo Ridge representatives will be attending to promote the rodeo and will bring a mechanical bull to the drive-in to kick things up.

Coming up, the drive-in will host the Amenia Lions Club’s seventh annual Community Classic Car Show from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 19. The drive-in will later house Hudson Valley’s Bizarre Bazaar on Saturday, Sept. 25, featuring a craft fair from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and a screening of “Night of the Living Dead” at 7 p.m. with a live score performed by the Morricone Youth.

As of this time, Stefanopoulos said the 2021 season is scheduled to end between the end of October and the beginning of November. 

Asked how this season has transpired, he said, “We just want to say we’re very happy that it’s been so well-received in such a nice addition to the town and the community, and we’re finding ways to embed the drive-in in the local community and allow others to take advantage of that as well.”

To contact the drive-in, go to www.playeatdrink.com.

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