Author Topic: History of the Drive-In Movie Theater  (Read 6324 times)

prezhorusin04

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History of the Drive-In Movie Theater
« on: August 05, 2006, 01:15:04 AM »

Drive-in theater
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drive-in_theater
 
Drive-ins are an important pop culture memory for many.The drive-in theater is a form of cinema structure consisting of a large screen, a projection booth, a concession stand and a large parking area for automobiles. The screen can be as simple as a wall that is painted white, or it can be a complex steel truss structure with a complex finish. Within this enclosed area, customers can view features from the privacy and comfort of their cars. Some drive-in theater managers added children's playgrounds between the screen and the first row of cars. Concrete patios for lawn chairs were available at some drive-in theaters.

Originally, audio was provided by speakers on the screen and later by an individual speaker for each car. This system was superseded by the more economical method of broadcasting the soundtrack at a low output power on AM or FM Radio to be picked up by a car radio, an advantageous method as it allows the soundtrack to be picked up in stereo by the audience instead of monaural.

Because of an easy source of high-quality sound and the relative ease of hiding and mounting a camcorder, drive-in theatres are often preffered sites to make Telesync and CAM pirated movies.

History
 
The 61 Drive In, one of only three such theaters left in Iowa.The drive-in theater was the creation of Camden, New Jersey, chemical company magnate Richard M. Hollingshead, Jr., whose family owned and operated the R.M. Hollingshead Corporation chemical plant in Camden. In 1932, Hollingshead conducted outdoor theater tests in his driveway at 212 Thomas Avenue in Camden. After nailing a screen to trees in his backyard, he set a 1928 Kodak projector on the hood of his car and put a radio behind the screen, testing different sound levels with his car windows down and up. Blocks under vehicles in the driveway enabled him to determine the size and spacing of ramps so all automobiles could have a clear view of the screen. Following these experiments, he applied August 6, 1932 for a patent of his invention, and he was given patent number 1,909,537 on May 16, 1933. (Seventeen years later, that patent was declared invalid by the Delaware District Court.)

Hollingshead's drive-in opened in New Jersey June 6, 1933 on Admiral Wilson Boulevard at the Airport Circle in Pennsauken, a short distance from Cooper River Park. It only operated for three years, but during that time the concept caught on in other states. The April 15. 1934, opening of Shankweiler's Auto Park in Orefield, Pennsylvania, was followed by Galveston's Drive-In Short Reel Theater (July 5, 1934), the Pico in Los Angeles (September 9, 1934) and the Weymouth Drive-In Theatre in Weymouth, Massachusetts (May 6, 1936). In 1937, three more opened in Ohio, Massachusetts and Rhode Island, with another twelve during 1938 and 1939 in California, Florida, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Texas and Virginia.

The drive-in's peak popularity came in the late 1950s and early 1960s, particularly in rural areas, with some 4000 drive-ins spreading across the United States. Among its advantages was the fact that a family with a baby could take care of their child while watching a movie, while teenagers with access to autos found drive-ins ideal for dates. Revenue was more limited than regular theatres since showings can only start at twilight. There were abortive attempts to create suitable conditions for daylight viewing, such as large tent structures, but nothing viable was developed.

 
Hull's Drive In Theatre, outside Lexington, VirginiaIn the 1950s, the greater privacy afforded to patrons gave drive-ins a reputation as immoral, and they were labeled "passion pits" in the media. During the 1970s, some drive-ins changed from family fare to sexploitation movies. In addition, the economics of real estate made the large property areas increasingly expensive for drive-ins to successfully operate. These changes and the advent of VCRs led to a sharp decline in the popularity of drive-ins. They eventually lapsed into a quasi-novelty status with the remaining handful catering to a generally nostalgic audience.

In 2002, groups of dedicated individuals began to organize so-called "guerilla drive-ins" and "guerilla walk-ins" in parking lots and empty fields. Showings are often organized online, and participants meet at specified locations to watch films projected on bridge pillars or warehouses. The best known guerilla drive-ins include the Santa Cruz Guerilla Drive-In in Santa Cruz, California, MobMov in Berkeley, California and Hollywood MobMov in Los Angeles, California, and most recently Guerilla Drive-In Victoria in Victoria, BC. The Bell Museum of Natural History in Minneapolis, Minnesota has recently begun summer "bike-ins," inviting only pedestrians or people on bicycles onto the grounds for both live music and movies.

Family drive-ins are making a comeback in some states. Garrett, Texas is the home of the Galaxy Drive-in Theater, a four-screen drive-in which opened for business in 2004.

Continued at Link:

Weirdelicious
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Re: History of the Drive-In Movie Theater
« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2006, 01:43:18 AM »
Interesting post!  :-) I'm a big fan of history.  :wink:

I remember when I was a child, my parents would make me take a bath early, put on my jammy and we would head off to the drive-in. The last movie I saw at the dive-in was "Harry and the Hendersons" !

That takes me back...

DeadHead

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Re: History of the Drive-In Movie Theater
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2006, 02:01:47 PM »
Harry & the Hendersons was awesome! Memories!! AH! They just opened up a drive in close to my casa.

Weirdelicious
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Re: History of the Drive-In Movie Theater
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2006, 02:13:34 PM »
I think that we have no more drive-ins around Montreal...they all closed I think...

DeadHead

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Re: History of the Drive-In Movie Theater
« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2006, 02:16:09 PM »
They're cool b/c they're BYOB :@0

Phantom X

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Re: History of the Drive-In Movie Theater
« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2006, 02:26:26 PM »
*sniffles*
The one near my cottage JUST got closed down, though there are rumors that they new owners will reopen it. It will either continue to be a Drive In or a Walmart, which will close down all the little shops all over town.  :|
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jordyn

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Re: History of the Drive-In Movie Theater
« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2006, 08:49:13 AM »
we have the midway drive in locally...it's a fun place, they use a nice radio broadcast for the cars, it's sort of funny watching the drunks stumble out of the bar in the evening and watch it from the bar across the street.
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prezhorusin04

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Re: History of the Drive-In Movie Theater
« Reply #7 on: August 07, 2006, 10:35:16 PM »
Yes, my memories of the drive-in are usually pretty fond as well.. A uniquely distinct experience, especially for a youngster.. Wish there were more drive-ins open, that were "state of the art", and made for the 21st Century.. It's a shame they've all but been abandoned.. :cry:

Nowdays, they'd probably all be owned by Coca-Cola Incorporated and Walmart though.... :roll:

Drive-In theatres sure did a lot to help the horror genre back in the early days. Where would films like Night of the Living Dead or Texas Chainsaw Massacre be had the drive-in theatres not embraced them?

http://www.horror-wood.com/drivein.htm

jordyn

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Re: History of the Drive-In Movie Theater
« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2006, 08:50:21 AM »
not at our drive in...they play nothing hader than pg13 being located on the corner of a major intersection, i think you get more excitement from the bar across the street.  ;)
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krymzynstarr

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Re: History of the Drive-In Movie Theater
« Reply #9 on: August 11, 2006, 02:09:44 PM »
I think that we have no more drive-ins around Montreal...they all closed I think...

There are still drive-ins running near Montreal, or in it, I was gonna go to one when I was there, but they only played movies in french.  And I only really know how to say hello and ask where the toilet is in french, so watching a movie there was out of the question.
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Weirdelicious
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Re: History of the Drive-In Movie Theater
« Reply #10 on: August 11, 2006, 02:14:07 PM »
I think that we have no more drive-ins around Montreal...they all closed I think...

There are still drive-ins running near Montreal, or in it, I was gonna go to one when I was there, but they only played movies in french.  And I only really know how to say hello and ask where the toilet is in french, so watching a movie there was out of the question.

 *<:) I bet! It's amazing! You're not from Montreal and know that there are still drive-ins around!  :lol: I've noticed that tourists know more about the attractions than the residents!

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Re: History of the Drive-In Movie Theater
« Reply #11 on: August 11, 2006, 03:22:28 PM »
It's only because I had to do a little research before I got there so I would have something interesting to do....I know next to nothing about where I live.
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