National Drive-In Movie Day | June 6
National Drive-In Movie Day | June 6


National Drive-In Movie Day on June 6th each year commemorates the day the first drive-in theater opened. Richard M. Hollingshead Jr. of Camden, New Jersey created the drive-in theater and he opened the first one 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, too. By the late 1950s, approximately 4,000 drive-ins dotted the United States.

According to thenewswheel.com, New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio have the best opportunity for movie viewing under the stars. Copiague, Long Island, New York once was home to one of the largest drive-in theaters. The drive-in covered over 29 acres and could park 2,500 vehicles. It also 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.

However, 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 Drive-In Movie Day

Get a carload of friends and head to the drive-in. It’s movie time! You can also explore drive-in movie history. Share your drive-in movie memories with us. What was your first drive-in movie? Do you remember? What was the last drive-in movie you saw? Give a shout out to the drive-in movie theaters near you, and 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. However, check out these other great movie-themed celebrations on the calendar: