Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Drive In Theaters....... something I have been thinking about taking my family to lately. I came across this and discovered it's just miles from my house. This is a childhood fave! Do you remember your first time to a "Drive-In"? ..and the many times after? Find out where your "Drive-Ins" are in your town, we can't let this nostalgic Americana die out. It's one of the great gems of our childhood, being a girl born in the 70's.
Florida had gotten an early start as a Drive-in state.. way back in February of 1938, hosting one of America's first drive-in theaters (in Miami); adding a second one when the Atlantic Drive-In opened in Jacksonville the following year. By the end of the next decade, 20 more Drive-In cinemas would open up, and the boom was on.
And less than 10 years later.. the number of Florida's Drive-Ins had multiplied 7 times over. By 1955, there were more than 150 outdoor theaters flourishing within the state. As true for the majority of the American states, the peak years for drive-in theaters in Florida were 1955-1959, after which their numbers began to decline.. although the descent (rate of attrition) was more gradual in Florida than elsewhere.
By the close of the next decade, Florida was still supporting about 120 drive-in theaters, and even as later as 1979, there were still 115 drive-ins in operation. Unlike most of the American states, a severe decimation of their numbers had not occurred until the late 1980's.
Presently, in contrast to the peak years, 94% of Florida's Drive-Ins have gone DARK or even been demolished (although it still remains as one of the better Drive-In states in America), with 10 that are still open, and for northerners accustomed to Drive-Ins open only seasonally.