The Pike Drive In Theatre opened
in 1953 during the “golden age” of the drive in. Built as a single
screen theatre, it was expanded to a 3 screen in the 1990’s. It is the
last open ozoner in the county. Current ownership purchased the
business in 2006, and over the past 8 years, they have made numerous
improvements to this drive in theatre. Although the owner lives over a
hundred and fifty miles away from the drive in, it is a labor of love,
and he is on site every weekend to make sure that the patrons of the
Pike enjoy a great night of movies under the stars.
The American Tradition called the
The First Drive-In Theater was invented
by Richard M. Hollingshead. who worked out the details of designing a
drive-in theater by mounting a 1928 Kodak projector on the hood of his
car and hanging a sheet for a screen in his backyard in New Jersey.
Richard placed a radio behind the screen for sound, then started to
test his idea.
One main problem
that became apparent was that with cars parked behind each other, the
cars at the rear would not be able to see the whole picture, due to
the car in front. Richard lined up cars in his driveway spacing
them at various distances and placing blocks under their front wheels
he was able to find the correct spacing and the correct angles to
build ramps for the cars front tires to park on. Shortly afterwards
Hollingshead was granted a patent on the design.
Hollingshead opens the first Drive-In Theater
Tuesday June 6, 1933 on Admiral Wilson Boulevard at the Airport Circle
in Pennsauken NJ, a short distance from Cooper River Park. It offered
500 slots and a 40 by 50 ft screen. He advertised his drive-in theater
with the slogan, "The whole family is welcome, regardless of how noisy
the children are". The first film shown was "Wife Beware". The
facility only operated three years, but during that time the concept
caught on in other states, and later parts of the world..