Ignite the Outdoor Theater Cine-Magic

There’s something about the cine-magic that happens at a movie theater. With all senses engaged, the sights, sounds and smells send a flood of nostalgia from an unforgettable experience at the cinema. Whether it was a first date, an outing with friends or the first time you ever saw a movie with your parents, we’re all attached in some way to the towering screens that captivate us. But it’s hard to justify time spent cooped up indoors when you could be out and about enjoying the last of summer before autumn comes rolling in. And with a drive in theater, you can have the best of both worlds. Grab your closest crew and head out. Whether you’re reliving those old memories or creating new ones, there’s more cine-magic waiting to happen.

Behind the Screen
It all began with one guy and a driveway, and would evolve into a phenomenon that would last over eight decades. Richard Hollingshead is credited with the first ever drive-in theater. He attached a Kodak projector to his car hood, nailed a screen to trees and put a radio behind the screen for a speaker. With hard work and determination, Hollingshead researched to work out the bugs and eventually acquired a patent. He opened the first theater in Camden, New Jersey in 1933. Charging just 25 cents per car and 25 cents per person, the idea took off and drive-ins sprung up around the country.

Coming to a Theater Near You
Although they aren’t as popular as they once were, the rarity of the theaters makes it more exciting to plan your next visit. There might be a theater a few miles from your house, or just a road trip away. But wherever it is, getting there is half of the fun. Visit to find a list of drive-in theaters near you. You’ll be able to search the history of all theaters in your state and how many are still in operation. Then, it’s time to let the planning begin. Find out what times and days the theaters are showing movies. You could go for just a Saturday night outing or a weeklong road trip of theater hopping.

Bringing Home the Magic
Much like Hollingshead did back in the 1930’s, you can bring the cine-magic home. If you can’t make it out to a drive-in theater, why not create your own? Set up a projector in your backyard or an open area in your community, like a park or amphitheater. You don’t have to park your car in the backyard, but you can gather outside to enjoy the weather and a movie from the comfort of a camping chair or blanket. Call up your friends, tell the neighbors or advertise in your community. Have everyone bring snacks and drinks of their choice, and sit back for an unforgettable picture show. With enjoyable company and refreshments in hand, let the good times roll.