It was a sell-out from the get-go. Richard Hollingshead's idea was copied far and wide in the years that followed, reaching its peak in the 1950s, when 5,000 drive-ins were operating across the United States.
For the postwar generation, a night at the drive-in was full of rituals.
There was the speaker hanging in the window; the endless promotions for the concession stand; the occasional opportunity for teenage romance; and, of course, there were the movies themselves.
The films played were often motley collections of borderline films that seemed to be seen only on drive-in screens.
But, no sooner did drive-ins get into high gear than they started to drive off into the sunset — done in by Daylight Saving Time and by the suburban sprawl that drove up land prices.
Today, just about 500 drive-ins still keep the flickering flame alive, bolstered by a new generation of loyal fans.
They're hoping to prove that it will take more than changing tastes and unfavorable economics to drive out the drive in.