Americans have always had a love affair with their cars. It's only natural that they found a way to spend more time in them. Whether it was "cruisin'" down the local strip, hanging out at the local fast food place or going to the drive-in movies. Drive-ins reached their peak of popularity during the 50s & 60s. They started to disappear in the 80s. New Jersey was the first state in America to have a drive-in - today not a single drive-in is left operating in the state.
Can you remember the speakers that you hung on your car window. Did any of you forget it was there and drive away with it still attached?
I can remember when our local drive-in would offer a $1.00 a car night. We would load up the car with all the neighborhood kids and fill the trunk with lawn chairs so we could sit outside to see the movies. Yes, I said movies - normally there were two full length pictures on the bill. These were usually movies that had run through the normal movie house circuit before being released to the drive-in. It didn't matter to us.
When I was young and went to the drive-in with my parents, we used to go early to get a good spot near the concession stand (and the restrooms). The drive-in usually had a playground with swings and stuff located down near the screen for the kids to play. They would play music over the car speakers and loud speakers until it got dark enough to run the projector. You knew when the movie was about to start because the car horns starting blowing when the patrons thought it was dark enough.
Between the first and second movies they has an intermission so people could visit the concession stand. I can still remember the jingle they played and the pictures of popcorn, candy and ice cream dancing across the screen.
Most people starting leaving before the second movie was complete because the wanted to beat the long lines of cars heading for the exits. I can't tell you how many movies I watched out the rear window while we waited in line to exit.
Then when I was old enough to drive it was my turn to take a date to the movies. Let me close by saying that it is was a period of my youth I remember with fond memories. How about you?
Some of the movies that were produced at that time dealt with the fears America had what would happen if the "Atomic Bomb" was used in war. Remember this was a time when people were building their own fall-out shelters. Others dealt with hot rods and rebellious youth. And let's not forget the invasion movies. Here are a few posters of some of the movies available then...
(Click on any poster to see a larger version)
Well it's about time for the intermission to start, you may use this link "It's Time for Intermission" . See and hear what a drive-in intermission was like.
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