The first drive-in theater in the United States opened its gates in 1933, and the first movie shown at the theater was “Wives Beware”. This movie was a silent film produced by Adolph Zukor and directed by Edward Sedgwick. It starred Adolphe Menjou, Mary Astor, and Edward Everett Horton and told the story of a young woman who falls in love with a man who is not what he seems.
The first drive-in theater was opened by Richard Hollingshead Jr., an automobile parts salesman from Camden, New Jersey. He got the idea for the drive-in theater while sitting in his car listening to a radio broadcast.
Hollingshead wanted to create a way for people to watch movies while still being able to enjoy the outdoors. He experimented with various projection and sound systems before settling on one that would work with auto radios.
With his invention complete, Hollingshead then had to find a place to put it. He chose a large open lot in Camden which had been used as a dumping ground for old tires and other refuse.
After removing all of the trash, he set up his projector and sound system using speakers mounted on telephone poles around the perimeter of the lot. On June 6th 1933, “Wives Beware” became the first movie ever shown at a drive-in theater.
The concept of drive-in theaters quickly caught on throughout America and by 1958 there were more than 4000 of them across the country. The popularity of these theaters began to decline in the late 60s due to competition from television as well as changes in lifestyle that saw many people opting for more urban living arrangements instead of suburban or rural ones where most drive-ins were located. Despite this decline, some drive-in theaters continue to operate today and are seen by many as nostalgic reminders of simpler times when going out for an evening at the movies meant taking your car instead of walking down to your local theater.
Conclusion: The first movie ever shown at a drive-in theater was “Wives Beware” which premiered on June 6th 1933 at Richard Hollingshead Jr.’s drive-in theater in Camden, New Jersey. Drive-ins quickly grew popular throughout America and reached their peak in 1958 with more than 4000 operating nationwide before their popularity began to wane due to competition from television as well as changes in lifestyle that saw many people opting for more urban living arrangements instead of suburban or rural ones where most drive-ins were located. Nowadays, some still remain but they are often seen as nostalgic reminders of simpler times.