Why did Drive-In's die off?

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by Captain Leo, Oct 12, 2017.

  1. Captain Leo

    Captain Leo Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Queens, New York
  2. Strat-Mangler

    Strat-Mangler Forum Resident

    Pretty sure you could read about their decline in a Wikipedia article.
  3. Wombat Reynolds

    Wombat Reynolds Jimmy Page stole all my best riffs.

    Atlanta, GA, USA
    Death by internet.
    junk likes this.
  4. Otlset

    Otlset The tree demon abides

    I think the decline of drive-in movies began as car makers increasingly used bucket seats and a center console in front to separate couples out for a date.
  5. All Rights

    All Rights Forum Resident

    The escalating value of real estate vs charging a fee for parking in a lot to watch a movie for only part of the year ( in most places)
  6. Wombat Reynolds

    Wombat Reynolds Jimmy Page stole all my best riffs.

    Atlanta, GA, USA

    thats funny, but, uh, we always used the back seat at the drive in.
  7. JamieC

    JamieC Forum Resident

    Detroit Mi USA
    IMO it was daylight savings time. The show did not start until nearly 9:30 when it was twilight. No use for kids at all.
  8. AKA

    AKA Cromulent Member

    They were dying long before the internet.
  9. woody

    woody Forum Resident

    charleston, sc
    There is a great documentary on Drive In theaters on Amazon. There were a bunch of factors. It goes into all of them. Gotta work or I would find it for you.
    pablo fanques and Vidiot like this.
  10. Bryan

    Bryan Starman Jr.

    Berkeley, CA
    Not to mention only at night and with inferior sound quality.
    SandAndGlass and Matthew Tate like this.
  11. hbbfam

    hbbfam Forum Resident

    Is this it?

    Drive-In Movie Memories
    DVD ~ Leonard Maltin
    Link: http://a.co/fldy7OU
    Malina likes this.
  12. Luvtemps

    Luvtemps Forum Resident

    I'd say oh about the mid-seventies.
  13. dprokopy

    dprokopy Forum Resident

    Near Seattle, WA
    I wonder if the advent of home video had something to do with it. In theory, that would have hurt both drive-ins and regular theaters, but at least regular theaters had room for improvement (better picture, better sound, etc.) to keep people in the seats. Drive-ins were kind of a technological dead-end.
  14. Luvtemps

    Luvtemps Forum Resident

    Yep,but where else could you see the worst sci-fi movies of all time?
  15. Bender Rodriguez

    Bender Rodriguez RIP Exene, best dog ever. 2005-2016

    New Jersey
    It was probably Millennials. According to the interwebs, they're killing just about everything these days.
  16. Wombat Reynolds

    Wombat Reynolds Jimmy Page stole all my best riffs.

    Atlanta, GA, USA

    thats what I meant about death by internet, altho, the advent of VHS and home movies in general probably did as much, or more damage/

    Most drive ins that I remember only showed 2nd run movies. Once home theatre, especially streaming kicked in, you didnt need to go anywhere to see a 2nd run movie except your own living room.
  17. keef00

    keef00 Forum Resident

    Or win $3 playing bingo at intermission?
  18. GlamorProfession

    GlamorProfession Forum Resident

    crappy audio
  19. Tanx

    Tanx Forum Resident

    Washington, DC
    I saw lots of movies at the drive-in up until the early '80s (this was up and down the East Coast). The last one--which I didn't know would be the last at the time--was "Fast Times at Ridgemont High." Then they all seemed to vanish at once.
    driverdrummer likes this.
  20. jojopuppyfish

    jojopuppyfish Forum Resident

    I went to a drive in once in my life. Wheeling, IL. You know why it closed? Emiment Domain by the city for the Palwaukee Airport. Closed in the 1990s.
    Personally even as a kid, I wasn't impressed. The idea is better than the execution
    Mike Ga likes this.
  21. dprokopy

    dprokopy Forum Resident

    Near Seattle, WA
    There's actually a few operational drive-ins here in Washington, showing double features of first-run movies. They're only open during the summer, though. Never actually bothered to go to one myself.
    halfjapanese and Matthew Tate like this.
  22. Instant Dharma

    Instant Dharma Forum Resident

    East Bay, Ca
    Mystery Science Theater 3000
    fr in sc and Ginger Ale like this.
  23. Trashman

    Trashman Forum Resident

    The value of real estate does indeed play a big role here. Most of the drive-ins near bigger cities were built in areas that were still fairly rural at the time, but were close enough for city dwellers to visit with just a short drive. As cities expanded and the suburbs grew, the value of the real estate exceeded the value of the drive-in.
    Combined with other factors... such as multiplex theaters, growth of shopping malls (which had their own theaters), and more home entertainment options (VCRs and movie rentals), the popularity of the drive-in sharply declined in the 70s and 80s.

    Another issue in recent years is that most drive-ins were family owned and still used older film projection equipment. When studios went to a digital format for distribution, it forced many of the remaining drive-ins to either pay huge sums for new equipment or just close down. Sadly, many couldn't afford the upgrade.

    Ten years ago, we still had two drive-in theaters in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. Since then, we lost one which was bought out to develop a new Walmart store. (The sad thing is that the footprint of the Walmart and it's parking lot doesn't even overlap with the footprint of where the drive-in was.) The other drive-in still survives, even though there had been talk of selling the land. On summer weekends, the line to get in the drive-in will often stretch nearly a mile down the road. So the drive-in experience is still popular with some people. Many will come well in advance of the movie and make it a tailgating experience, with their own grills and refreshments.
  24. Larry Geller

    Larry Geller Surround sound lunatic

    Bayside, NY
    The advent of tinted glass as standard in cars, in the '70's helped to begin the decline. Movies now looked horrible in a car. Also, that crappy speaker.
  25. GooGooMuck

    GooGooMuck Member

    I went there (Twin Drive In) so many times I lost count. Awesome memories starting as a little kid falling asleep in back seat after first movie (which was usually more kid friendly than the second feature), through high school/ early adulthood where we would have parties there, sometimes even with a quarter-barrel. Back seats meant something totally different then. Original Jaws, Star Wars, Cujo, The Thing, Mad Max, Platoon.....awesome memories. There was a tradition during the intermission cartoon for the snack bar where a hot dog being trained by a bun in a circus environment (think lion tamer) would jump into the bun. Everyone would start cheering and honk their horns and flash their lights. Went to another drive in recently (Cascade) and they showed the same intermission. I was the only one honking/ flashing lights. :cry:

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