Drive In Theater Near Me

Visiting a drive in theater is taking a step back in time to a simpler and more pleasurable way of life. From the sprawling screen, to the concessions, there are few things that can bring as much family fun as a trip to the local theater.

Are you interested in finding a drive in theater in your area? You’re in luck! Simply browse drive in theater near me on the map below and find a list of drive in theaters in a close proximity to your current location. Need a bit more information on drive in theaters? Read on for facts, trivia, and a bit of history on these beloved places of nostalgic good fun.

Drive In Theater Near Me – Find it on the Map

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Drive In Theater Near Me – Drive In Theater Trivia

Where was the first patented drive in theater?

If you’re searching drive in theater near me, you may be wondering where the first drive in theater was patented. Believe it or not, the first drive in theater was not patented in Hollywood, but in Camden, New Jersey by chemical company magnate Richard M. Hollingshead, Jr. Richards family operated the R.M. Hollingshead corporation chemical plant in Camden. In 1932, Hollingshead conducted the first outdoor theater tests in his driveway near Riverton, NJ. The first screen was nailed to several trees in his backyard. He then set a Kodak projector on the hood of his car and put a radio up right behind the screen. To test sound levels, Hollingshead would try the sound with the windows up and the windows down. Through blocks that were placed under vehicles in the driveway, Hollingshead quickly determined the size and spacing of ramps so that all automobiles would get a clear view of the screen. Hollingshead first applied for a patent of his invention on August 6, 1932 and was granted the patent on May 16, 1933. Hollingshead drive in officially opened in New Jersey in 1933 in Pennsauken township, just a short distance from Cooper River Park. The drive in offered 400 car slots and a healthy 40 by 60 ft screen. Hollingshead advertised the theater with the slogan, “The whole family is welcome, regardless of how noisy the children are.” The first film to be shown at the drive in was Wife Beware. The drive in ultimately failed to make a profit, leading Hollingshead to sell the theater after three years.

drive in theater near me

Drive in theaters are nostalgic and beautiful forms of entertainment.

When did drive in theaters enjoy peak popularity?

Peak popularity for drive in theaters first arrived in the late 1950s and early 1960s, particularly in rural areas. At this time, there were around 4,000 drive-ins spread throughout the US. Consider these facts while searching drive in theater near me. A night at the drive in was appealing for many reasons. For one, a family with a baby could take care of the child while watching a movie. There was no need for a babysitter or missing the film for frequent bathroom trips. Teenagers found drive-ins ideal for dates, as it allowed both privacy and entertainment. Unfortunately, revenue is more limited than at regular theaters since showings could only begin at twilight. Some drive-ins attempted to construct tenant like structures to enable daytime viewing, but nothing viable ever came to be.

Drive In Theater Near Me – Drive In Theater Facts

Drive In Revival

Despite massive popularity in the 1950s and 1960s, drive ins dwindled in the 90s. Despite this, the drive in industry made a resurgence in the early 2000s with the inception of do-it-yourself drive-ins. Beginning at this time, individuals began utilizing contemporary tools such as LCD projectors and micro-radio transmitters. The first DIY drive in was in Oakland, California. This drive in sought to reclaim underutilized urban spaces such as parking lots in downtown areas as venues for outdoor film and video screenings. Showings were often organized online and participants meet at various locations to watch films projected on anything from bridge pillars to warehouses. These drive-ins earned the name Guerrilla drive-ins due to the fact they often pop up out of nowhere. Well known, Guerrilla Drive-ins can be found in Santa Cruz, CA, Novato, CA, and San Francisco, CA. Consider these revivals while searching drive in theater near me.

Digital Conversion

In order to compete with movie theaters, drive in theaters had no choice but to convert to a digital medium. The ongoing conversion of the film distribution network in the US to be exclusively digital content has added a lot of pressure to drive in theaters, especially those that were already struggling to keep up. Most small drive ins lack the finances needed to convert to digital projection. On average, a digital screen conversion can cost upwards of $70,000. The lack of multiple screens along with a limited number of daily showings often leads to a low volume of ticket sales, which makes it difficult for small drive ins to justify the cost of installing digital projectors. Conversion of the projection booth to digital is very complex for drive in theaters. Projectors need a more powerful bulb due to an increased size in screen as well as light pollution. Digital projectors also often require an internet connection, which means the booth must be fitted with special glass, vents, and stronger air conditioning. While you’re searching drive in theater near me, consider just how digital conversion may affect your local theater.

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