Photo today shows patrons driving through the box office at the Fly-In Drive-In Theater in Wall Township, New Jersey, in 1948. Drive-in movie theaters were a growing trend at the time, so the owners of this spot took advantage of the nearby airstrip and added room for 15 small planes to taxi in and watch the show alongside the autos.
Today marks the anniversary of the first true drive-in theater, opened in 1933 in Pennsauken Township, also in New Jersey, more than an hour’s drive inland from the Fly-In. Drive-in theaters were a popular venue for movie-watching until a sharp decline in business during the 1970s and ‘80s nearly drove the idea to extinction. Some legacy theaters survived, and a small resurgence of the drive-in has brought the experience to a new generation of movie fans. Can we still bring our own snacks?