Drive-in Theaters: A History from Their Inception in 1933 [NOOK Book]

Overview

A primarily American institution (though it appeared in other countries such as Japan and Italy), the drive-in theater now sits on the verge of extinction. During its heyday, drive-ins could be found in communities both large and small. Some of the larger theaters held up to 3,000 cars and were often filled to capacity on weekends.
The history of the drive-in from its beginnings in the 1930s through its heyday in the 1940s and 1950s to its gradual demise in modern-day America is...
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Drive-in Theaters: A History from Their Inception in 1933

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Overview

A primarily American institution (though it appeared in other countries such as Japan and Italy), the drive-in theater now sits on the verge of extinction. During its heyday, drive-ins could be found in communities both large and small. Some of the larger theaters held up to 3,000 cars and were often filled to capacity on weekends.
The history of the drive-in from its beginnings in the 1930s through its heyday in the 1940s and 1950s to its gradual demise in modern-day America is thoroughly documented here: the patent battles, community concerns with morality (on-screen and off), technological advances (audio systems, screens, etc.), audiences, and the drive-in's place in the motion picture industry.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Drive-in theaters, a uniquely American institution, prospered in the suburbs of the postwar 1950s, when the whole family could go to the movies in that newfound symbol of independence, the automobile. Subsequent decades saw the number of drive-ins decline, owing to the encroachment of home television and a number of other socioeconomic factors skillfully delineated in this well-researched study. The recollections of drive-in patrons as well as theater owners enrich the narrative, and there are valuable appendixes, including the text of the original patent for the drive-in theater, statistics covering the number of theaters (overall and by state) operating through the years, and revenues of indoor vs. outdoor theaters. Though this is an academic study, it is filled with the nostalgia of tinted windshields and free children's playgrounds. Highly recommended for serious film collections.-- Richard W. Grefrath, Univ. of Nevada Lib., Reno
Booknews
Traces what looks like the entire history of an institution as American as apple pie, from its beginnings in the 1930s, its heyday in the 1949-50s, and its demise in recent decades. Documents the patent battles, the concerns with morality (on and off screen), technological advances, and its place in the movie industry. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786491704
  • Publisher: McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/7/2006
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 668,074
  • File size: 6 MB

Meet the Author

Cultural historian Kerry Segrave is the author of dozens of books on such diverse topics as drive-in theaters, lie detectors, jukeboxes, smoking, shoplifting and ticket-scalping. He lives in British Columbia.

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Table of Contents

Introduction
1 A Backyard Invention 1
2 Patent Battles 11
3 A Very Slow Start, 1933-1944 17
4 Postwar Surge, 1945-1949 35
5 Drive-ins Battle the Industry 52
6 Communities Battle Drive-ins 60
7 The Golden Years, 1950s 64
8 The Golden Years, Showmanship 78
9 The Golden Years, Selling Food 89
10 Strange Drive-ins 99
11 Foreign Drive-ins 104
12 Drive-ins Battle the Elements 115
13 Drive-ins Pray for a Miracle 126
14 Drive-in Sound 135
15 The Audience 142
16 Sex in the Drive-in 148
17 Sex on the Drive-in 153
18 Decline and Stagnation, 1960s and 1970s 169
19 Rapid Descent, 1980s and Beyond 182
20 Conclusion 197
App. 1: Richard Hollingshead Patent 203
App. 2: Architect's Ground Plan for Camden Drive-in 215
App. 3: Louis Josserand Patent 216
App. 4: Early Drive-ins 222
App. 5: Financial Data 227
App. 6: Number of Drive-ins, by State 233
App. 7: Monthly Film Attendance by Type of Theater, 1952-1954 237
Notes 239
Bibliography 261
Index 275
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