One of the Last Drive-in Theaters in Vermont

Dear Fellow Vermonter,

There are many beloved pastimes that come with rural life in Vermont. One in particular that has, despite the odds, survived the test of time: drive-in movies.

They started in the 1930’s, but drive-ins really took off in the 50’s and 60’s. At one point, there were 20 drive-ins in Vermont and more than 4,000 around the country. Today, we have only three in state, and just a few hundred nationwide.

However, the remaining three – in Colchester, Bethel, and Fairlee – have become community landmarks that families and friends flock to on summer nights. Recently, my team caught up with Peter Trapp, who runs the Fairlee Motel & Drive-in with his family, to learn more about his experience running one of the last drive-in theaters in Vermont. I hope you’ll take a look at what he had to say in the video below.


Built in 1950, back when I-91 didn’t exist and Route 5 was the main road, the Fairlee Drive-in remains an irreplaceable part of our community to this day. When Hollywood began the move toward digital and away from film, the Fairlee Drive-in was almost forced to close. But with the help of the local community, the Trapp family was able to raise enough to purchase a new digital projector and stay open.

I am happy to see this tradition live on for older generations and new.




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