- Entertainment and Media»
- Movies & Movie Reviews
Drive In Movie Theaters - Is There A Drive In Movie Theater Near You
Some Fun Facts And Other Information About Drive In Movie Theaters
In 2012 a careful search revealed that there are now 368 drive in movie theaters left in the United States and new ones still do open from time to time. You'll now find drive in movie theaters in other countries as well including Spain, Brazil, and Australia. In some places including many locations in the United States drive in movie theaters appear to be making come back.
In the 1950s and 60's buck night was when the drive in movie theater charged a dollar per car for admission. This was usually done on slow nights like Wednesday night.
The Largest Drive In Movie Theater Ever
The largest drive in movie theater ever was on Long Island New York. It covered almost 30 acres and it had parking for 2500 cars. And yes at one point in time it was full every night.
Attention Grabbing Gimmicks
At the height of their popularity drive in movie theaters did all kinds of things to boost attendance. Some had petting zoo's, some had live actors show up that were in the movie being shown, and some had a big cage of monkeys. Some offered free soft drinks during the first hour each night and all kinds of other tricks to try to pack their drive in theater full of cars and people.
I know our local drive in theater once had performing pigs that would climb up a ladder and dive about twenty five feet into a large pool of water.
Going To The Drive In Movie Theater
As a small child growing up in rural North Carolina going to the drive in movie theater was a big deal. I remember we would do chores for neighbors during the summer months to come up with money for the drive in movie theater. As well as I can remember the first movie I ever saw at a drive in theater was " The Misfits " in 1961 with Marilyn Monroe and Clark Cable. It was the last film either of them would finish. I don't remember a lot about that movie but I remember my Mom and her friends talking about it.
I remember my dad had a big woody station wagon and when we went to the drive in movie theater they would fill the car with us kids and often our cousins and their mothers. The earliest price I remember was in about 1961 and I remember the drive in theater charged three dollars per car. Today that same drive in movie theater charges seven dollars per vehicle. And the same family is still running that drive in movie theater that was running it in 1961. I don't get to go to the drive in theater as often today but I still enjoy going. I love going to the refreshment stand for foot long hotdogs and big tubs of hot buttered popcorn.
I remember the adults stayed in the car and all the kids would set on a blanket that was put down carefully in front of the car. Now those were the days.
I remember back in 1961 there were about eight drive in theaters in the two county area around us. Today there are two left. In this area they usually open in early April and they stay open until Halloween. My favorite drive in movie theater has always shown Halloween movies for free on Halloween night. We used to go trick or treating in the early evening and then we would go watch the last movie they were showing that evening. After that the drive in movie theater would be closed until April. One of my favorite things was they always sold red candy apples on Halloween night.
When we first started going to the drive in movie theater they had speakers that you hung up on your car window so you could hear the sound for the movie. Later on they switched to transmitting the sound over the car radio.
Did you go to the drive in movie theater as a child. What do you remember about it. Why not tell us all about it in the comments section below.
Ozowners: A Drive-In Movie Trailer
Please Vote In Our Poll
Did you go to the drive in theater as a child.
Where was the first drive in movie theater?
That very first drive in movie theater was in Hollingshead's Drive In Movie Theater on Admiral Wilson Boulevard in Pennsauken New Jersey a short distance from Cooper River Park. That first drive in theater had room for 400 cars and it had a 40 by 50 foot movie screen. It opened on June 6th 1933. That drive in movie theater only operated for two years but by that time the concept had caught on and before long there were drive in movie theaters all over the United States.
Do you know there were once 5000 or more drive in movie theaters?
At the peak of the popularity of the drive in movie theaters there were 5000 plus drive in movie theaters in the United States. This was during the 1950s through the 1960s. Among the advantages advertised was the fact that you could take your baby to the drive in movie theater and keep a eye on the baby while you watched the movie. Before long drive in movie theaters became a popular date spot for teenagers.
After the second world war ended the drive in movie theaters were full of families with children. It was at this time that a lot of drive in movie theaters put in large playgrounds and even special viewing areas just for kids. These usually included play areas, speakers with the sound from the movies and some even had sleeping benches for the younger kids.
After the 1960s the popularity of drive in movie theaters went down.
By the mid 1960s the popularity of drive in movie theaters was going down and some started showing adult movies. The amount of land needed for a drive in movie theater also caused many theaters to close because the land was needed for other purposes. But by the year 2000 the drive in movie theaters were becoming popular again with families as they provided cheap entertainment and a place for families to go where the whole family was welcome. A few new drive in movie theaters have been built recently. Today you'll find some drive in movie theaters once again doing all kinds of things to get people interested once again in the drive in movie theater. Today some are even offering on premise gyms and free internet access for your lap top or tablet. I even know of one that now offers curb service letting you stay in the vehicle while your foot long hotdogs, soft drinks, and popcorn are brought to you.
Today's drive in movie theaters have many improvements.
And in today's drive in movie theaters there have been many improvements. You can now get a text telling you what the new movies coming to the drive in theater are. And in most drive in movie theaters the sound now comes over your vehicles radio rather than over those scratchy sounding speakers that hung on your vehicles window. Our local drive in theater has added a nice large children's playground recently and a on premise internet cafe complete with coffee drinks. Unfortunately you still have to remember where the car is when you go to the bathroom.
What was the first T.V. show that showed a drive in movie theater every week?
In case you don't remember the first TV show that showed a drive in theater in every episode actually was the Flintstones. Remember Fred's car always turned over.