Once a vibrant part of American culture, drive-ins reached their peak in the late 50s with almost 5,000 dotting the nation. Although drive-ins are experiencing a resurgence, today less than...
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Once a vibrant part of American culture, drive-ins reached their peak in the late 50s with almost 5,000 dotting the nation. Although drive-ins are experiencing a resurgence, today less than 400 remain. In a nation that loves cars and movies, why haven't they survived?Written by
The birth, the boom, the death and the (slow-building) rebirth of the drive-in movie theater, chronicled in this fun, if thin and low-keyed documentary from writer-producer-director April Wright. Outdoor theaters began to crop up in the U.S. in 1933, but it was in post-WWII America that Hollywood and the automobile made for the perfect marriage. In the 1950s, teenagers used the drive-in as a good excuse for getting out of the house with their friends, while in the late '70s many screens were turning to X-rated titles to turn a profit (which, along with many other factors, is credited here with killing the drive-in, if temporarily). Communities are shown turning out for the new era of the drive-in experience, while owners and aficionados wax poetic about the days of loading the kids in the car and seeing a double feature for a dollar on a Friday night. Entertaining memories and an avalanche of photographs (which go by at too-fast a clip, some too fuzzy to see and some repeated) make the happy/sad history of the drive-in theater a nostalgic journey, particularly for those who were around at their peak. **1/2 from ****
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