Are you a fan of old American TV shows that used to revolve around the many adventures of a big American family or a group of three or four friends? If you have watched these shows, you may recall watching an episode where the characters plan an outing to a drive in movie theater. With pizzas and soda in their hands, they sat on their car’s hood and enjoy the latest movie on a big screen. It won’t be wrong to say that if there is one thing that reminds us of the old times, it is drive-in cinemas.
It was in 1933 when the first patented drive in movie theatre opened in New Jersey. Richard M. Hollingshead Jr. built the first-ever drive-in theatre. The theatre had space for 400 cars and a 40ft by 50ft large screen. The first movie to screen on the theatre was an Adolph Meniou film titled Wife Beware. Over the years, the cinema gained popularity among people to such an extent that were around 4,000 active drive ins around the US. Today, every year in America, June 6 is celebrated as National Drive-in Movie Day.
But they say ‘nothing lasts forever’ and gradually, there came a day when the sun started setting on drive-ins. Earlier, it was the advent of VCRs and color television that led to a sharp decline in the number of cinema-goers. Then, with the dominance of online streaming apps and mobile devices, people eventually lost interest in going out for a movie. However, these cinemas have not been lost completely. Even though their number has been significantly reduced from 4,000 to just 355, the drive ins are still quite popular among a majority of Americans.
There is no denying that drive in cinemas weren’t introduced so that they could become a thing of the past. Bracing the technological advancements, many drive-ins vowed to make a comeback. Now, most of them offer amenities that attract people of all age. Some drive-ins are even pet-friendly, allowing worried pet owners to bring their furry friends with them for a movie date.
Many theatres have also started other entertainment activities like mini-golf and beer gardens. Some also feature locally sourced food, gourmet meals, and alcoholic beverage. Also, in comparison to a traditional cinema, a drive-in movie theatre is much cheaper and much relaxing. These cinemas also run classic films that can be a treat for those who appreciate the old movies.