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Old Time Drive-in Theaters

This video is a remembrance of our country's earlier symbol of our younger spirit, wild freedom and our fascination and dependency on our cars. Let's trace the drive-in's origins and unfolding as it gained widespread popularity with people of all ages. We can look back at a great time in America and wonder if drive-in movie theaters will ever return to America.

The earliest drive-in theaters started in Camden, New Jersey about 1933. And just what did they watch? ...Generally older movies, usually black and white. The big screen was easily viewable from the cars but the theaters did not yet have the individual speakers so the speakers were near the screen. The cost?...How about less than a buck! Over time, the number of screens evolved from one to many...eight and more. Who ever would have thought that those huge drive-ins would develop into SWAP SHOPS?

Families would pack their kids into the car and head out to the drive-in on those nice spring evenings. Remember the cooler nights...the blankets...the crickets? Do you remember when you were at a drive-in on a hot, humid, summer night? Remember the mosquitoes? The repellant? Hardly an aphrodesiac if you had your best date with you! Do you remember going in the winter? ...in-car heaters...windows fogging up...fun wasn't it?

To keep the kids occupied, many theaters had playgrounds with swings, slides for the kids. Snack bars were always ready for the thirsty, hungry hordes. Visiting the snack bar at intermission for the pop-corn, pizza, hamburgers, fried chicken and soda was a tradition and the primary revenue for the drive-ins. Theaters gradually increased the length of movie trailers to encourage longer stays at the snack bars!

Old Time Drive-in Theaters - almost forgotten

A news feature on the then-current state of the drive-in movie industry, featuring a look at the opening of a new drive-in theater near Houston, Texas.

Old Time Drive-in Theaters - Intermission Films

You're waiting for the movie to start, only to be deluged with tasty commercials that lure you to the snack bar. Were you able to resist the temptation?

Old Time Drive-in Theaters - Memories and future

Drive-ins had more than just movies...they were a place to meet friends, take your date, visit the flea market on weekends and more

 

 


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