Comebacks we'd like to see: #14 -- Drive-in theaters

This post is part of our series ranking the top 25 bygone products and trends we'd like to see return.

The drive-in movie was born in the 1930s on a residential driveway in New Jersey, where Richard M. Hollingshead developed a workable combination of projection, screen, sound and vehicle position. The website states that the very first drive-in theater opened on Tuesday, June 6, 1933, showing the movie "Wife Beware." By the end of the decade, 18 drive-in theaters were in operation in the U.S.. By 1958, nearly 5,000 drive-in theaters were in their twilight entertainment glory.

As a little kid, I saw my first movie on the big screen at the 41 Outdoor Theater on the outskirts of Appleton Wisconsin. It was there that I was introduced to the antics of Herbiein The Love Bug. I also thrilled to Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music, and fell immediately in love with her. I watched Kurt Russel grow up under Disney's watchful gaze in movies such as The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes.As I grew older, the outdoor still offered thrills such as Clint Eastwood's "B" westerns in the open air. Some of the first entries to the "slasher" genre also debuted on drive-in screens, including the first version of Texas Chainsaw Massacre(which far outclassed the recent remake of that film).

If I lived close enough to one of the few drive-in theaters still operating or a new one that has opened, I can assure you that I'd be attending it a few times a year. You see, although the viewing experience may be a bit shy of that which is offered in today's multiplexes, there's just something about sitting in the womb of your car with a big tub of popcorn and your best girl at hand that can't be achieved through any other means. In fact, it's my theory that the drive-in movie theaters were possibly the single largest contributor to the baby boom. Maybe you should find a drive-in theater near to you and see if my theory is right.

What coming of age joys would you like to see revived?

Read Full Story

Can't get enough personal finance tips?

Sign up for Finance Report by AOL and get everything from consumer news to money tricks delivered directly to your inbox daily!

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.