The purpose-built drive-in theater opened back in 1933 in Pennsauken, New Jersey. The format was marketed as a family-friendly entertainment, with ads noting, “The whole family is welcome, regardless of how noisy the children are.”
The late 1950s and the early 1960s, though, were the real drive-in glory days, when there were about 4000 such venues spread across the country — about a quarter of the total number of movie theatres. (No doubt much of the popularity was thanks to the teen set, who flocked to drive-ins on date night.) As of 2013, however, traditional indoor theaters account for more than 98 percent of all screens.
A pair of vintage silver-tone drive-in speakers on chains