Media outlets celebrate 80 years of drive-ins

Fiesta Drive-In screen

photo by Neon Michael, from the Carload Flickr pool

Rather than adding separate posts about everybody celebrating the 80th anniversary of the drive-in theater, I’ll put them all together for you here so you can read as many of them as you want.

  • USA Today picked up a Cherry Hills NJ Courier-Post story. The best part is a photo of the first drive-in courtesy of Pauline Hollinghead, the inventor’s nephew’s wife.
  • ran an article with a different photo of that first drive-in. The article adds some perspective I hadn’t seen elsewhere. “The theater opened in an era when Admiral Wilson Boulevard and adjacent Crescent Boulevard (Route 130) were lined with flashy attractions and establishments of all sorts, including a dog-racing track, an airport, and an enormous Sears department store (now undergoing demolilition).”
  • used the occasion for an interview with Craig Derman, photographer of The Drive-In Project, a look at abandoned drive-in movie theaters across America. And it shows a picture of the Comanche (Buena Vista CO). Hey, the Comanche isn’t abandoned!
  • The Connecticut Post ran a slide show of classic drive-in photos, leading off with the iconic Life Magazine photo with Charlton Heston that we talked about earlier.
  • ABC News ran a different set of black and white drive-in photos, mostly from Getty Images.
  • Parade had yet another slide show.
  • The press release web site used the anniversary to promote the Family Drive-In Theatre (Stephens City VA) as part of Go Blue Ridge Travel’s “Kids Bucket List“. Have we already forgotten what “bucket list” means? Do kids around there have a high mortality rate?
  • The Kentuck Art Center (Northport AL) commemorated the occasion in its monthly Art Night with an outdoor screen looping vintage intermission ads and a drive-in themed photo booth for visitors to use, according to the University of Alabama’s The Crimson White.
  • Finally, the Orange County Register posted a great infographic (PDF) about the rise and fade of drive-ins through the years. Check it out!