U.S. Census Bureau June 6: First Drive-In Theater

WASHINGTON, June 6, 2012 -- Following is the daily "Profile America" feature from the U.S. Census Bureau:


Profile America - Wednesday, June 6th. A major pop culture phenomenon began on this day in 1933. With the automobile increasingly reshaping the American landscape, Richard Hollingshead opened the nation's first drive-in movie theater in Camden, New Jersey. Soon, drive-in movies became a fixture across the country and a popular place for teenage dating. Some even had heaters to go along with the speakers, so they could stay open through the winter. Drive-ins reached their peak in the 1950s. There were nearly 21,000 movie theaters then, and more than 4,000 of them were drive-ins. Now, there are nearly 4,900 movie theaters around the country - most of them with multiple screens - while there are fewer than 270 drive-ins remaining in operation. You can find these and more facts about America from the U.S. Census Bureau, online at http://www.census.gov.

Sources: Chase's Calendar of Events 2012, p. 301
Historical Statistics of the United States: Colonial Times to 1970, p. 855
Statistical Abstract of the United States 2012, t. 1128

Profile America is produced by the Public Information Office of the U.S. Census Bureau.