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Tuesday
Jun072011

The Drive-In Movie Theater: a summer classic! 

The Drive-in Movie has to be one of the best ideas ever. Did you know the first Drive-In Movie Theater opened June 6, 1933?

I grew up not too far from the Malta Drive-In and for as long as I can remember it was a quintessential part of my summer. You'd call up your friends and neighbors, windex the car windshield, get your lawn chairs and blankets, and head down route 9 for a summer night under the stars. Looking back, I probably thought everyone had a drive-in theater. It was such a normal thing. But was it?? You tell me! Did you have a drive in movie theater?

I found this Grand Opening announcement of the Malta Drive in from NewYorkdriveins.com - how cool! The Malta Auto Movie (aka Malta Drive In) opened July 1 1949. Children under 12 and cars were free. The first movies shown were "The Noose Hangs High" starring Bud Abbott and Lou Costello and  "On The Old Spanish Trail" a technicolor cartoon with Roy Rodgers.I had no idea it was such an old theater. It has been in continuous operation ever since!

And good news, it's still going! I sent my local photographer, my dad :),  on a mission to get a picture of what the entrance to the drive in looks like today.  

We have Richard Hollingshead Jr. to thank for this delightful outdoor movie experience. With an initial investment of $30,000 he opened the first drive-in movie theater June 6, 1933 in Camden, NJ. The admission was 25 cents a person and 25 cents a car. According to history.com, Hollingshead was reportedly inspired by his mother's discomfort in traditional movie theater seats. Aw what a nice twist, he did it for his mamma!

If you have ever been to a drive-in, you might remember a classic cartoon they would play during intermission. This is a short video clip of the cartoon I remember seeing at the Malta Drive-In! Made in the 1957 and it was still being played into the 80's and 90's, crazy. (video from smithsonianmag.com)

 

Long live the Drive-In Movie Theaters!!

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Reader Comments (1)

We spent much of our childhood summer nights at drive-in movie theaters. Mom would make fried chicken and popcorn and we'd eat and watch the movies. I wish they'd make a come-back!

Jun 9, 2011 at 10:57 AM | Unregistered CommenterDebbie

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