Many of us can recall a time when we watched a movie from the back seat of our parents car in the 50’s and 60’s. Some may even recall the allure of the drive-in theater in the late 60’s and early 70’s as a dating “rite of passage” as we came of age. That said, it’s interesting to note that the first drive-in theater was open for moviegoers on this day in 1933 in the city of Camden, New Jersey. Florida would see its first drive-in theater in 1938 in Miami. At their inception, drive-in theaters were touted as entertainment for the whole family from the comfort of the family car.
Who doesn’t remember the family piling into the car and paying the one-dollar admission to enter? Kids loved the concession stand trips for hot dogs, pizza, popcorn, and drinks. I wonder if our parents were ever lucky enough to see most of the movie after taking us on the countless treks to the restroom after eating and drinking all those goodies.
Feeling nostalgic about now? Remembering the Mustang and the 28th St. Drive-Ins? Nothing good to watch on TV? For a wonderful trip down memory lane take some to view the following…
Sadly, drive-in theaters began their slow demise in the mid to late 60’s. The Mustang Drive-In Theater opened in 1966 and showed movies until 1990, eventually being demolished in 2001 to make way for a Publix Market and a Lowes. The 28th St. Drive-In which opened in 1951, was the longest standing drive-in closing in 2000, creating space for Lealman Intermediate School.
There is however, a bit of good news on the horizon. Drive-Ins may be making a comeback. The sad news is we’ll never be able to see the one dollar for carload ticket price again. Today, the mention of drive-in theaters may bring a look of dismay on a grandchild’s face, but I’d trade video streaming for a trip to the drive-in with my Mom and Dad any day.
Have a drive-in memory to share? Would love to hear from you.
For more information on the future of St. Petersburg drive-ins visit https://stpeterising.com/home/2021/3/8/drive-in-movie-theater-is-coming-soon-to-st-pete