Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by Captain Leo, Oct 12, 2017.
Pretty sure you could read about their decline in a Wikipedia article.
Death by internet.
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.
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)
thats funny, but, uh, we always used the back seat at the drive in.
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.
They were dying long before the internet.
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.
Not to mention only at night and with inferior sound quality.
Is this it?
Drive-In Movie Memories
DVD ~ Leonard Maltin
I'd say oh about the mid-seventies.
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.
Yep,but where else could you see the worst sci-fi movies of all time?
It was probably Millennials. According to the interwebs, they're killing just about everything these days.
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.
Or win $3 playing bingo at intermission?
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.
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
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.
Mystery Science Theater 3000
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.
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.
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.
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