National Drive-In Movie Day falls on June 6 which is the anniversary of the first-ever drive-in opening in the U.S. Even though many people prefer to watch movies in their homes or on their phones, a lot of people cherish the tradition of driving into a park and watching a movie on a large screen while munching on their favorite food.
History of National Drive-In Movie Day
National Drive-In Movie Day marks the day when America’s first drive-in theater was opened in New Jersey by Richard M. Hollingshead Jr. The drive-in was created for seniors who found it hard to comfortably sit in indoor movie theaters. He made a small drive-in theater for his mom in his driveway and placed a big screen in his backyard with a Kodak projector on his car.
Later, in 1932, he used the same technique to open his first patented drive-in theatre. It had a parking space for 400 cars. The goal was to cater to the entire family in the open air. The first movie that was played in the theatre was the popular British Comedy “Wife Beware.”
Owing to American’s love for movies, more drive-ins were set up in the country. By the late ’50s, more than 3,000 drive-ins could be found in the U.S. New York had the biggest drive-in theater. It could accommodate up to 2,500 vehicles. This drive-in also had a restaurant and a playground for kids. An indoor seating arrangement was also available.
The drive-in industry capitalized on the fact that they were convenient for families and romantic for couples. When color television, cable TV, and VCRs became popular during the early ’90s, the trend of drive-in theatres began to decline.
National Drive-In Movie Day timeline
America's first partial drive-in theater is set up in New Mexico.
A downtown drive-in is opened in Texas.
In-car speakers are set up with separate volume controls.
The rising interest rates cause drive-in areas to become increasingly more expensive.
National Drive-In Movie Day FAQs
Why did drive-in movies die?
Drive-ins lost their popularity during the 1970s. Video rentals also began around this time, which caused a further decline in the popularity of the drive-in. In 2007, it was estimated that around 400s drive-ins operated in the U.S.
Will a drive-in movie kill my battery?
To keep your radio playing, you must leave your car running. The majority of drive-ins use radio signals for sound. You can also use your car’s stereo. Nevertheless, it will drain the battery very quickly.
How did drive-in movies work?
In a drive-in cinema, people watch movies on large projector screens. People park in a large open area and watch movies from the comfort of their cars. Loudspeakers are placed around the area and in each car to provide clear audio.
How to Celebrate National Drive-In Movie Day
Visit a drive-in theater
If there is a drive-in theater near your home, plan to visit it for a movie night with your family or friends. Prepare some fun snacks to take to the drive-in. You can make creamy salads, cheesy fries, tacos, or even your favorite sandwiches. Make sure not to pack anything that can spoil or get soggy in the car.
Host a movie night
There is no better feeling than having a cozy movie night within the comfort of your own home. You can set up a screen in your backyard with nice seating arrangements for your guests to relax and unwind. It can be quite chilly outdoors, especially at night, so make sure to have a good stock of small blankets to keep your guests comfortable.
Support indie filmmakers
Amateur filmmakers usually make movies for creating awareness of a certain cause or showcasing their artistic expression through their films. Indie films are usually released online or in movie festivals. Posting a supportive comment, rating, or a review for their movies can boost their morale and motivate them to keep going.
5 Facts About Hollywood That Will Blow Your Mind
Hollywood's star walk
A single star on Hollywood's walk of fame costs $30,000.
The Hollywood sign
The iconic Hollywood sign is more than 90 years old.
The history of cinema
“In Old California” was the first short film to be made in Hollywood.
The first Academy Awards
The first Academy Awards took place in 1929 at the Roosevelt Hotel.
Jennifer Lopez inspired Google images
Google image search was created when J-Lo's iconic gown at the Grammys in 2000 broke the internet.
Why we love National Drive-In Movie Day
It is a great way to enjoy classics in a nostalgic setting
Older movies are even more fun to watch when played on a large screen. You get plenty of fresh air at a drive-in and the best part is that you can enjoy it with your entire family including your pets!
The entire family can visit a drive-in theater
People who are claustrophobic or require mobility assistance don't feel comfortable watching movies in indoor movie theaters. Therefore, a drive-in movie theater is a good alternative to conventional movie theaters. You can watch your favorite movies within the comfort of your car or any vehicle that you use to commute on an everyday basis.
You can enjoy old Hollywood movies
Many Hollywood classics are not available on DVD or online video streaming platforms. Luckily, there are many vintage-themed drive-ins in the country that run the old classics. Some movies are in color and some are in black and white. Therefore, those who enjoy watching Hollywood classics can consider going to a drive-in this Drive-In Movie Day.
National Drive-In Movie Day dates