Camden Drive-In

2901 Admiral Wilson Boulevard,
Camden, NJ 08104

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TheALAN
TheALAN on January 1, 2014 at 11:30 pm

No, there is no marker or sign on the site for the Camden Drive-In. Only PRIVATE PROPERTY and NO TRESSPASSING. Zinman Furs now occupies the site.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 5, 2011 at 7:48 pm

The entry for Camden architect Howard E. Hall in the 1962 American Architects Directory of the AIA lists “1st Drive-in Theatre, original, Camden, N.J, 33” among his works.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on July 28, 2010 at 5:50 pm

NOW PLAYING AT THE CAMDEN DRIVE-IN, Greta Nissen stars in “SPY 77” 25 cents per person and here is a new one,“No charge for car”.

Also this movie played here, “REFORM GIRL” and second feature, Betty Compson in “GUILTY OR NOT GUILTY”.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on October 25, 2007 at 5:08 pm

This is an old article about the Camden Drive-In.

DRIVEIN101
DRIVEIN101 on July 6, 2007 at 5:02 am

Does anybody know if there is a marker or a sign on the site where Mr. Hollingstead’s creation once stood? If not, it would definitely make an excellent 75th anniversary gift next June 6.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on January 25, 2007 at 3:52 pm

This is an interesting lawsuit. It looks like Hollingshead shut down the drive-in in 1936 alleging that Paramount was trying to force him out of business. Perhaps the studios felt that outdoor theaters were a threat to their existing indoor business. Richardson Dilworth, plaintiff’s attorney, later became mayor of Philadelphia:
http://tinyurl.com/25523v

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on June 11, 2006 at 1:09 pm

Here is an interesting article about the Camden and drive-ins in general:
http://www.matchflick.com/column/1021

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on January 18, 2006 at 4:09 pm

When I was in college in the early 1980s, Admiral Wilson Boulevard was notable for the astounding number of adult businesses as well as ladies of the evening that would board the municipal buses trolling for customers. Ah, memories.

RobertR
RobertR on July 28, 2005 at 11:53 am

Here is a 1933 photo
View link

teecee
teecee on June 28, 2005 at 2:40 am

http://66.221.1.53/states/nj.htm

It is interesting to note is the 2nd item. It claims that this theater moved from Camden to Union 3 years after opening. While the Camden drive in didn’t last long, I wasn’t aware of the “move”.

teecee
teecee on June 9, 2005 at 7:11 am

Great history at these links:

View link
View link

teecee
teecee on April 1, 2005 at 1:04 pm

“Two White Arms” (1932)was the first film shown at a drive-in theater on 6 June 1933 in Camden, New Jersey. It was released in the US and shown at the drive-in under the name “Wife Beware.” The film was chosen because it had played for only one week in theaters a few weeks earlier and they wanted a film that would not conflict with major releases.

teecee
teecee on March 17, 2005 at 6:08 am

Here is the drive-ins.com listing with some nice photos:
http://www.drive-ins.com/theater/njtcamd

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on October 15, 2004 at 9:24 am

RickB….Thanks for clearing up the address “mystery”. I wasn’t sure if Admiral Wilson Boulevard and Crescent Boulevard were two different boulevards or just a name change. Your explanation is perfectly clear.

RickB
RickB on October 15, 2004 at 9:07 am

The theater site was on what is now Admiral Wilson Boulevard (US Route 30). It was right on the border between Camden and Pennsauken and it appears that at the time the theater was in operation the highway changed name from Admiral Wilson Boulevard to Crescent Boulevard at the city limits. After multiple renamings and realignments over the years, today’s US 30 continues east over the Pennsauken line as Admiral Wilson Boulevard for about a third of a mile to the Airport Circle; there, 30 combines with US 130, which is the highway currently known as Crescent Boulevard. On a map this may be slightly easier to figure out, but I wouldn’t count on it.

Anyway, the address for the theater site would roughly be in the 2800 or 2900 block of Admiral Wilson Boulevard, on the odd-numbered side. The Zinman Furs building at 2901 is usually cited as the current occupant of the site, but that may not be precisely correct.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on October 14, 2004 at 4:14 pm

The Camden Drive-In had a capacity for 500 cars. The screen was 40x50 feet. The first movie to be shown was “Wife Beware” starring Adoplph Menjou.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on October 14, 2004 at 4:09 pm

There are two issues that I have to raise regarding this theater. It was the first drive-in theater in the U.S. It was probably the first in the world but as of now I can’t verify that. The second issue concerns the address. Most articles about this theater list the Crescent Boulevard address. I have also seen Admiral Wilson Boulevard listed as the address. If anyone knows for sure which is correct, please post it here. Thanks!