Earlier this week was the anniversary of when the American public was first introduced to drive-in theaters. On June 6, 1933, people were, for the first time, treated to watching a flick from the relative comfort of their cars.
The ideas that led to the creation of drive-in theaters were first thought up by a man named Richard Hollingshead. Other than being a general fan of movies, Hollingshead really didn’t have any kind of connection to the movie industry or theaters. He was, in fact, a sales manager for the company Whiz Auto Products, which was owned by his father. If the stories are correct, the initial ideas that led to the drive-in theater were actually Hollingshead’s attempts at making his mother more comfortable while watching a movie.
With that being his jumping off point, he came up with the idea to make the theater open air and moviegoers would watch the movie while still in their vehicles. From there, he set up and tested various ways to have movies displayed outdoors and make sure everyone could hear the audio as well. Hollingshead patented the concept and opened his business Park-In Theaters, Inc. After a long, successful run, his patent was stripped in 1949, which is when we saw drive-in theaters start springing up nationwide.
Though the popularity of drive-in theaters has waned fairly thin over the years, maybe it’s time to make this one-time American icon a regular part of our routines again. Certainly the interior of your Mercedes-Benz is more comfortable than the seats at your local multiplex, right? Take advantage of that fact and help make drive-in theaters thrive once again – I promise you’ll end up having more fun than going to a regular theater, especially if you have kids with you.
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