NATIONAL DRIVE-IN MOVIE DAY
National Drive-In Movie Day is observed annually on June 6th. Richard M. Hollingshead Jr. of Camden, New Jersey was the creator of the drive-in theater. Hollingshead’s drive-in opened in New Jersey on June 6, 1933.
At this first drive-in theater, the screen was 40 feet by 50 feet and there were 400 car slots. The advertising slogan used was, “The whole family is welcome, regardless of how noisy the children are.” An Adolphe Meniou film, Wife Beware, was the first film shown. The idea caught on quickly and drive-ins began to pop up in other areas. In the late 1950s there were 4,000 drive-ins across the United States.
Travel to Pennsylvania for the best chance to view the show from under the stars. Pennsylvanians have 30 drive-ins currently in operation. A close second is New York. Copiague, Long Island, New York once was home to one of the largest drive-in theaters. It covered over 29 acres and could park 2,500 vehicles. The drive-in hosted a full-service restaurant with rooftop seating, a trolley system to take children and adults to the playground and a large indoor theater in case of bad weather.
The invention of color television, VCRs and video rentals along with the increase in land values and the widespread adoption of daylight saving time, led to a sharp decline in the drive-in popularity.
For a comprehensive list of drive-in theaters still in operation today, visit driveinmovie.com for locations by state.
HOW TO OBSERVE
Get a carload of friends and head to the drive-in. It’s movie time! Use #DriveInMovieDay to post on social media.
National Drive-In Movie Day, honors the opening day of the first drive-in. The creator of this day is unknown.
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