Drive-In Theater Memories
Ahh, the passion pit. Remember when these were as popular as hickeys.
There was a kind of magic about the drive-in movie theater. I can still hear the
gravel crunching underneath the tires of our car as we entered to find the perfect spot to watch the
movie (depending if you had a date or not.) I still can smell the delicious aroma of the popcorn and hotdogs coming
from the snack bar. Distant memories still exist in my mind of a time when we loaded up the car for a
night at the drive-in movies. I recall the time my buddies and I sneaked in the drive-in hidden
inside of the trunk of a 1951 Chevrolet in which the rear seat would easily pop out from the
trunk. You should have seen the expression on the faces of the people next to us as they watched as
we appeared from nowhere in the back seat of the car. In those days as a young teenager, you did anything
to save a buck.
Families could spend a low-budget entertainment evening at the drive-in theatre.
People brought lawnchairs to watch the movies under the stars while the very little ones slept in the car with
their favorite blanket and pillow. Many families would bring snacks from home to save even more money. It was not
unusual to have special nights where you could bring a carload for five dollars or even less. Do you remember
that? Drive-in movies were so much of the culture of the fifties and sixties. I have tried and tried to
remember the first movie I saw at the drive-in but my memory escapes me, probably due to the
fact that the drive-in theatre was supposed to be around forever, at least in my lifetime.
The idea of the drive-in theatre didn't really take off until after World War II. The
baby boomer generation made it a hit. In the 1950s more people attended the drive-in than the in-door theatre. The
drive-ins had playgrounds for the kids where they could play before the movie and during the intermission. You
didn't need a baby-sitter and the cost of the family outing was relatively cheap.
The drive-in was a perfect date location with the parking for a little necking already
provided. Steamy windshields were evident in all directions. I guess this is where my first love for the
drive-in resulted as a teenager with raging hormones. Of course many girls' parents forbid their daughters to
go on dates at the drive-in to protect them from guys like me. My date and I would attend even against
her parents' wishes. I do remember Goldfinger, starring Sean Connery, was my first movie
I attended with a date.
Today drive-in theatres have gone by the wayside, although there are a still a
few in operation and there is evidence that they may be making a comeback.
In the town I grew up in there were two passion pits and both no longer exist as in
many small towns across this great nation. Now they are lost in the overgrown grassy fields of urban
America. They are friendly ghosts of the past; if only they could speak and tell us more of these
For more information about Drive-in Theaters, Click Here.
Got a special memory of the 60s about drive-in movies? You can leave it in the