Torn-Down Tuesday: Delaware Drive-In, Knoche Road, 1963

By Steve Cichon
steve@buffalostories.com
@stevebuffalo

This one is more a case of built-up than torn down, but the Delaware Drive-In, prominently featured in the aerial photo by longtime News photographer Bill Dyviniak, was torn down to build the Youngmann Expressway.

Buffalo News archives

Landmarks which are still recognizable today include tiny St. Peter’s German Evangelical Church. It was built in 1849 by early German settlers of Tonawanda, including John and Eva Pierson (who happen to be my fifth-great grandparents.) It remained a church until 1967. It’s now the home of the Tonawanda-Kenmore Historical Society, and is easily visible on Knoche Road on the 290’s Elmwood Avenue exit.

Buffalo Stories archives

Opened in 1948, the 35-acre Delaware Drive-in featured a 63-foot-by-63-foot screen and accommodations for 1,000 cars for the twice-nightly shows.

Lucky Pierre broadcasts live from the Delaware Drive-In on WEBR, 1957 (Buffalo Stories archives)

The big screen was torn down in 1963 as the state built the 290 through Tonawanda and Amherst.

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Steve Cichon

Steve Cichon is a proud Buffalonian helping the world experience the city he loves. The operator of Buffalo Stories Tours writes about the people, places, and ideas that make Buffalo special at blog.buffalostories.com and daily at buffalonews.com/history. The storyteller and historian has written six books, worn bow ties since the 80s, and spent 20 years working in Buffalo radio and TV, climbing his way to news director at WBEN Radio. Since then, he's been an adjunct professor and produced PBS documentaries. Steve's Buffalo roots run deep: all eight of his great-grandparents called Buffalo home, with his first ancestors arriving here in 1827.