“The World’s Most Viewed Drive-In Screen” Lives in the Hudson Valley
Drive-Ins are such a rarity these days, but New York is lucky enough to have a few scattered throughout the state. Back in the 1950's at their peak, there were over 4000 drive-in theaters operating in the United States. Currently, there are about 330 Drive-in Movie Theaters still operating in the United States. One good thing is that there has been a resurgence in their popularity since the pandemic where abandoned drive-ins are being resurrected.
One New York drive-in is claiming it is "The World's Most Viewed Drive-In Screen," but the story as to why is fascinating. A bit unorthodox, but certainly an incredible piece of history.
The Greenville Drive-In Outdoor Cinema is a perfect Catskill getaway to enjoy movies in style. With a 4.7 Star rating on Google, there is no question that this is a beloved attraction. But how can they make the claim that they are "The World's Most Viewed Drive-In Screen?" The answer is Taylor Swift.
As the story goes, an overseas-based freelance photographer visited the drive-in back in 2018 or 2019. He entered the property without the permission of the drive-in and took pictures and filmed the area. They then put the images on Shutterstock, advertising the footage as 'abandoned upstate NY drive-in theater.' For the record, the drive-in was very much in operation, simply just in its off-season.
READ MORE: HYDE PARK DRIVE-IN CLOSES AFTER 72 YEARS
Someone on Taylor Swift's creative team purchased the license to use the stock footage, edited it, and used it for the lyric video for her song "This Is Me Trying." The video was released at midnight on July 24th of 2020. The video has been viewed nearly 18 million times on YouTube. Audiences from around the world have watched Taylor Swift's lyrics pop up across the Greenville Drive-In Screen.
The Greenville Drive-In had said in a Facebook post:
At the time, this scenario caught us off-guard as we had received no prior notice about it's release nor even were remotely aware of this possibility. Since then, it has taken us a little time to unwind what happened, but it is a distinctly modern tale...
After one of our eagle-eyed Swiftie staffers quickly brought it to our attention, we did attempt to reach out to Taylor’s team to politely ask if they might identify and credit the drive-in as the location for the music video. Alas, we have yet to receive a response from her representatives. (We’ll blame COVID.)
The Greenville Drive-In has taken the cameo in stride. they have adopted July 24th as their TAYLOR SWIFT APPRECIATION DAY, and they now make a week out of it. They are hosting a Taylor Swift-themed karaoke night with ‘Sing the Hits with Amanda’ on Friday, July 28th and you can sing with lyrics projected on the same big screen Taylor used. They might even do a group sing-a-long of "This is Me Trying."