Wednesday, August 6, 2014
August 6: Inventor of the drive-in theater filed a patent on this date in 1932
Part of the story behind the invention of drive-in movies says Richard Hollingshead, an employe of his father's auto parts business, was inspired by his mother, a heavyset woman who didn't enjoy the average movie house. In the 1930s, going to the movies could be a trial for many — from crowds to lack of parking and even the odd chance of catching polio.
So Hollingshead had the idea: What if people could watch movies in their cars? After tinkering for months with a test setup in his driveway — a 1928 Kodak projector and bedsheets strung between trees — Hollingshead had figured out the basics, including how to make sure all patrons could see the feature.
The first drive-in would open in 1933, and after World War II became an American tradition, introducing generations of Americans to dancing junk food. At their peak, 4,058 drive-ins flickered across America; today, there's 338 left according to Drive-Ins.com.
Photo: RLCJr. via Flickr