Monday, January 28, 2013

A Forgotten Past Time

I traveled to visit friends in Portland a couple weeks ago. Route 17A parallels the Connecticut River. There are remnants of farms on it. There is still an apple orchard. Every time I travel this way I notice an old sign covered by thickets. It was a drive in theater. I am unsure when they were started and became popular. It had to do with the increased mobility of people and automobiles.It was a summer evening activity. Families and couples would drive through booths to pay their admission. I don't remember if it the admission was the number of passengers or one admission price.
Movies were shown on a large screen and there were rows of poles with speakers attached to them. The speaker had a clasp that could be secured on the car window. There was a knob for volume.  
Two movies were always shown which allowed for an intermission. Every drive in theater had a concession stand. There was always a line formed to order refreshments. The wise customers would leave their cars before the first movie ended so they wouldn't have to wait in line.

I'm unsure what caused the demise of the drive in theater. There are only a few remaining. There is usually no trace of a drive in theater when the property is sold and developed. This one remains.

There is a video in the next blog entry.


  1. I've only seen 'drive-on movie theaters' in movies themselves. They never caught on in the UK, just a few here and there. more for novelty value. I did look up the history of them online, and there's some interesting facts. Here's a A LINK to a general overview.

  2. MitchyLR, thanks for providing the link. I do remember when drive ins where in decline they started showing porn movies. We lived near a drive in theater in West Haven and the marquee advertised movies with triple X. It was probably due to technology and the affordability of VCR and VHS tapes that people could rent movies and watch them at home.
    So, you did have a few of them in the UK.

  3. Drive-on movie theatres had their debut in Portugal some years ago but they didn't last long.