The Drive-In Theater History Page

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1942- 95 Drive-In Theaters

By January of 1942 Drive-In theaters had began to spread across the U.S. There we 95 Drive-Ins spread across 27 states. Ohio led the way with 11 Drive-Ins.

The War Years 42 through 45

The building of new Drive-Ins slows durring the U.S. involvement of World War II. Only six drive-ins are built. Many problems face the Drive-ins durring this time. Rubber for tires is in short supply since it is needed for the war effort. Gas rationing was in effect durring part of this time frame. Many theaters close down for as much as 2 years.

Post War years 46 though 49

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In 1946 the number of theaters goes from 102 to 155. By 1948 there are 820 drive-in theaters across the U.S.

With the concept of the Drive-In Theater being strange to most people, new drive-ins would host an "Open House" durring the day to let people know what to expect. They would show the future customers how to park, how the sound systems worked, and what food was available in the concession stands. Some Drive-Ins reported as many as 400 cars would show up for the open house.

The Baby Boom

CONCES.jpg 8.16 K As soon as the war ended the Baby Boom began. By the end of the 40's the drive-in theaters were full of children looking for something to do. Most theaters found a new use for that area between the front row and the screen, but adding a Playground. This had a major return for most theaters. People began to arrive early so their children could plan on the playground. Then after a workout on the playground a trip to the concession stand was in order.

Select a new Time Destination
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