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Old 05-26-2020, 12:34 AM
 
Location: NYC
17,839 posts, read 11,394,289 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jambo101 View Post
In these days of social distancing id love to go to a movie,alas all the theaters are closed which makes me think drive ins would be a good solution, what happened to all the drive-ins?
Why? With all the technology we have today, I can sit in my car inside my garage and watch movies on a big screen TV hanging on the wall in my garage. Many folks can sit on their bed watching movies on their tablets without going out. Drive-ins died because it takes up a lot of space and the movie quality is not very good. I've been to 2 drive-ins and it's not very good experience but it was cheap. $4 per person.
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Old 05-26-2020, 04:03 AM
 
Location: South Carolina - The Palmetto State
1,147 posts, read 1,647,363 times
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There are currently (give or take) 325 Drive-In theatres still in operating in the US - so yes, they are not a major player but far from "dead".

We went to one last summer in SC and the picture quality was decent and plus, since the audio is an FM signal, the sound was great on our car speakers.

We saw a LOT of younger people there - they really seemed to enjoy the experience of it.

Visited the Snack bar, too!
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Old 05-26-2020, 09:44 AM
 
3,071 posts, read 921,728 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hawk4042C View Post


They're still around, you just need to look. Here are four in my general area.
Sorry, I didn't mean to imply they all closed. There are indeed a few around. Sacramento still had a 6-plex when I left in around 2010.

But as someone who likes to photograph industrial decay, I've seen a lot of dead ones.

Last edited by Therblig; 05-26-2020 at 10:10 AM..
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Old 05-26-2020, 09:49 AM
 
1,703 posts, read 858,478 times
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I actually think our drive in is pretty fun. You can do and talk as loud as you want in your car. Enjoy a cheap new movie and the snack bar is just as good if not better than traditional theaters at a fraction of the price.
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Old 05-27-2020, 02:02 AM
 
Location: Troy, NY
3,098 posts, read 533,221 times
Reputation: 2471
Quote:
Originally Posted by Therblig View Post
Sorry, I didn't mean to imply they all closed. There are indeed a few around. Sacramento still had a 6-plex when I left in around 2010.

But as someone who likes to photograph industrial decay, I've seen a lot of dead ones.

When I was younger there was closed Drive-In about a ten minute walk from my house. Instead of someone bringing it back to life, the place was flattened.

In its place is Fleetpride & FedEX.
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Old 05-28-2020, 11:28 PM
 
Location: Old Mother Idaho
24,832 posts, read 16,688,891 times
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There's a drive-in here that was recently sold after being closed for about 10 years and is now under renovation. It's nearly finished, and may be used for a local high school graduation.

There are 2 in town. The other one is newer, but is still closed. They remained popular for many years after most drive-ins closed.
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Old 06-21-2020, 06:51 PM
 
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I remember going as a kid and remember watching those vans hop up and down thinking... of course!!
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Old 06-27-2020, 09:25 AM
 
19,349 posts, read 58,724,108 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jambo101 View Post
In these days of social distancing id love to go to a movie,alas all the theaters are closed which makes me think drive ins would be a good solution, what happened to all the drive-ins?
A full answer would take a book.

Many drive-ins were simply real estate plays. Cheap land on the edge of town was bought and the DI paid the taxes and provided a little income until the property value skyrocketed when sprawl overtook it. One California circuit became rich with this strategy, selling cheap land for millions by just sitting on it.

People fell out of love with their cars during the OPEC gas shortage. Cars became tiny and cramped to get better mileage.

Star Wars. Lucas refused to allow drive in theatres to book the film for months. He felt that the picture and sound quality were too poor, and the idea of a "carload" night appalled his sense of greed. His example set many film distributors on the path of opening their films only in hardtops for two weeks or longer before releasing to drive ins. With the cream skimmed off, profits fell.

Light pollution. As areas built up, street and security lights ruined the dark that was needed. Have you driven by a car dealership at night?

Insurance costs. Liability insurance kills businesses. At first the playgrounds under the screen were closed, which drove away young families, then insurance went up from car damage in the lots, and assaults.

The increasing split of visual entertainment possibilities. TV, color TV, cable, VCRs and Blockbuster, multiplexes, etc.

The "passion pit" label. A business can only survive so long with a negative stereotype.

Various laws. Some were directly aimed at closing those "dens of iniquity and sin." (Religious nutters in high places.) Some were well-intended, such as no teen in school being allowed to work past 8 PM (Some drive-ins don't even start the first feature until after that.)

Labor and security costs.

Change to digital costs.

People. People in general were well behaved right up until the mid-1970s. Gather any crowd these days and you have potential problems.

I ran a drive-in. Back then it was an absolute delight. I've toyed with the idea of setting up a free one in my front field, showing public domain movies. The liability and potential for jerks stops me.
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Old 06-29-2020, 09:28 AM
 
521 posts, read 159,612 times
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From what I understand the public exhibition fees, the liability insurance and the new digital projectors are very expensive. Then there is the FM radio audio upgrades, maintenance and vandalism costs, all the county permits, health permits, utility bills, land use fees, the cost of employees including security, etc etc etc. It is very difficult to make a profit. Then you add in seasonal closings when weather is bad and dealing with an ever increasing nasty, low life customer base....it is a tough business to keep going. But in my youth when most people knew how to act in public, there was nothing better than putting lawn chairs out or a mattress in the back of the truck on a summer evening in the desert and watching films under a clear star filled sky with the coyotes yapping in the distance and being with your family or friends.
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Old 07-06-2020, 02:30 AM
 
Location: Troy, NY
3,098 posts, read 533,221 times
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Just go to your local Walmart & watch a movie.

https://walmartdrive-in.com/
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