Google Doodle Celebrates The 79th Anniversary Of The First Drive-In Movie Theater!

Thanks to Richard Hollingshead Jr. mounting his Kodak projector on the hood of his automobile and projecting the image on a makeshift screen between some trees in New Jersey, he planted the seeds of the very first Drive-In Movie Theater. Hollingshead patented his invention and one month later, 79 years ago today, opened the Park-In Theater in Camden.

One of my earliest Drive-In movie memories was watching Richard Boone (Have Gun Will Travel) in William Overgard’s The Last Dinosaur back in 1977, this was before Star Wars mania overtook everything in my life of course.
[Via] Vinsinlau’s YouTube Channel

Sadly it is has been reported that there are less than 400 Drive-In Theaters in operation today, so if you are lucky enough to have an operating Drive-In in your neck of the woods then why not visit it tonight and join in the anniversary celebration?


Editor at Retroist
Searching through the alleys for useful knowledge in the city of Nostalgia. Huge cinema fanatic and sometimes carrier of the flame for the weirding ways of 80s gaming, toys, and television. When his wife lets him he is quite happy sitting in the corner eating buckets of beef jerky.

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5 thoughts on “Google Doodle Celebrates The 79th Anniversary Of The First Drive-In Movie Theater!

  1. Drahken says:

    I remember watching convoy at the drive in, one of the old pink panther movies (I was extremely disappointed. I only knew PP as a cartoon, and here comes this live action crapfest on the screen, when I was expecting ~2hrs of one of my fav toons), some movie that I don’t remember because I spent as much time watching “young guns” on the other screen (that drive in had 2 screens, facing each other. You could watch one or the other, although you could only hear whichever one’s speakers you were parked next to).

  2. Drahken says:

    It was basically 2 theaters together, back 2 back. Unfortunately, it closed down years ago. They used it for flea markets for a while, then built it into something (I think a visitor’s center for the adjoining state park).

    Another odd little drive in wasn’t odd so much for anything intrinsic to it, but primarily because of it’s location. While most drive ins are located in the middle of nowhere, this one was located in a heavy commercial area. It was at the far end of a mall’s parking lot, and right off of a large road (which itself was just off of the interstate) which had several businesses all clustered in that area. In fact, there was a gas station located right next to it, with only a few yards of trees seperating the 2. If you went out into the woods a bit from the gas station, you could watch the movie for free (but not listen, since this was long before the radio broadcast stuff, the only way to hear was to use the little speakers).

  3. Wow, we have 3 Drive-In Theaters in our location, all have the back to back screen format…Me and the wife had a Ghoul’s Night Out there just last weekend!

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