Drive-ins: An American classic reborn

posted by Michael Zoldessy on July 2, 2008 at 7:45 am

An article in Time takes a look at the current state of the drive-in.

As the sun slowly set on a recent night in June, 800 cars and a crowd of viewers in lawn chairs pulled up to one of the four screens on the 25-acre green of the Mission Tiki drive-in theater in Montclair, Calif. Lovestruck teens canoodled in back seats. Parents corralled children in minivans. It was a remarkable turnout for a business, born 75 years ago, that has been teetering on the edge of extinction for the past two decades.

But tickets at the Mission Tiki have started selling again, and at $7 per adult and free entry for kids under 10, movie-goers are re-embracing the affordable luxury of a night at the drive-in. “It’s a family bargain,” says Frank Huttinger, vice president of marketing for De Anza Land & Leisure Corp., the family-owned business that operates the Mission Tiki. “It’s quality presentation. Our biggest problem is letting people know that we’re still there.”

Comments (14)

LawMann
LawMann on July 3, 2008 at 1:06 pm

Up until the early 70’s Los Angeles had drive-in theatres in just about every neighborhood. I grew up in the Wilmington/San Pedro area in the late-50’s to the late 60’s and during that time in that area we had six drive-in theatres (Harbor, Twin-Vue, Roadium, Torrance, Vermont, San Pedro). Sadly none of those theatres exists today, the casualties of costly land value and development.

AngelaE8654
AngelaE8654 on July 7, 2008 at 9:05 pm

I just asked my San Pedro born/Torrance raised husband about this and he said you are 100% correct. He remembers every one of these theaters.

Angela

crazyraymond
crazyraymond on November 17, 2009 at 1:02 pm

I still remember the one time I went to a drive in theater when I was about 8. driveinmovie.com will let you search drive-ins close to you. Sadly, there don’t seem to be any in my area at all.

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ja029
ja029 on January 4, 2010 at 9:13 am

The drive-in was a blast. I grew up going to these more than the standard theatre. The biggest challenge was find a speaker to hang on your door that had decent sound. They have a drive-in in Scottsdale, AZ but I have yet to try it out.

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qavishahzad
qavishahzad on July 23, 2010 at 2:28 am

I grew up going to these more than the standard theatre. The biggest challenge was find a speaker to hang on your door that had decent sound. They have a drive-in in Scottsdale, AZ but I have yet to try it out.

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Kaushalam
Kaushalam on September 4, 2010 at 6:27 am

I love drive in cinema, i’m from India and we have drive in cinema in A'bad city. I’m more interested to drive in cinema’s because it affordable for me.

CesarVega252
CesarVega252 on October 25, 2010 at 7:37 pm

I have always wanted to go to a drive in cinema. Sadly there are none in my city. There might be some around in the nearby cities though. Well at least I hope.
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kesslerfields
kesslerfields on March 31, 2011 at 11:17 pm

Its more affordable to drive in cinema, I also prefer to drive through cinema’s. I also keep saving some penny while enjoy. Thumbs up!

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ianday7
ianday7 on July 12, 2011 at 3:41 pm

Its a great shame we dont have drive in cinemas in the UK

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jimcassa
jimcassa on July 18, 2011 at 1:54 am

We have a couple of drive in theaters where I live, in Melbourne Australia.

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cybermonday9
cybermonday9 on November 10, 2011 at 8:17 am

You always have the best blog about cinemas.

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magnifico
magnifico on April 26, 2012 at 3:53 am

I always wanted to go to a drive-in. Never had the opportunity because there are not these kind of ideas here in my country

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