People have been watching movies under the stars at the Malta Drive-In Theatre since 1949, with the community landmark being an unofficial sign of warmer temperatures and a more laidback few months.
But this year, the drive-in will host more than movies. It will be home to the Malta Drive-In Market, an open market that will take up camp on Sundays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. through October.
The drive-in is a wonderful place because it's very accessible, eveyerbody knows it, it's a long-standing institution and a great space to do it, said Mike Thompson, owner of the market.
The open market will have antiques and wares from local businesses, as well as fresh produce and other homegrown food products.
Don't call it a flea market, though, because it's not.
"We're not a flea market because we're not looking for discount wholesale.
We're proactively inviting antiques, collectable dealers, local artisans and craftsman, growers and farmers to create a unique mix of locally grown and created things," said Thompson. "We're giving these people an outlet, a real good outlet, to expose their products to the community at large."
Thompson and his wife are open market-type connoisseurs, visiting their favorites every summer and fall, like a big antique show at the Washington County Fairgrounds and a similar one in Cape Cod.
"[My wife] said there's nothing like that around here. There are shows but no regular, fun, weekly market to go to," said Thompson. "There are farmers markets but now it will have antiques and collectable too."
The drive-in market almost didn't happen, when a drive-in in Queensbury was resistant to Thompson's proposal.
"They weren't receptive because of some aspects we wanted to build in to make it a fun community thing," said Thompson.
The Malta Drive-In Theatre owners jumped on board, though.