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80 Years of Drive-in Theaters

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Getty Images

The outdoor movie theater, born in 1933 in Pennsauken, N.J., turned 80 on June 6. What started as an experiment from chemical company magnate Richard M. Hollingshead Jr. changed the way movie-goers experienced motion pictures. Hollingshead started small. Really small. His prototype consisted of a screen nailed to trees in his backyard, a radio behind the screen, and a 1928 Kodak projector positioned carefully on the hood of his car. And this all happened from his driveway.

Hollingshead got the idea from his mother, a tall woman who found traditional theater seats to be uncomfortable.

After receiving a patent for his idea, Hollingshead expanded, opening up the drive-in theater in Pennsauken with 400 car slots and a 40-by-50-foot screen. The first film ever shown was Wives Beware. Hollingshead chose to screen the film because it had already been in theaters for a few weeks, and he didn’t want any conflict with major releases at other theaters.

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Back then, going to a drive-in was about more than just watching a movie.

Hollingshead’s theater only operated for three years, but the concept caught on elsewhere. Drive-ins' popularity spiked in the late '50s and early '60s, especially in rural areas.

“Going to the drive-in is about the experience. … It was not about the movie,” filmmaker April Wright told USA Today after completing a documentary about the rise and fall of drive-ins.

Parents jumped on board because they could shuttle the family, and teens loved the idea because it was ideal for dates. And some drive-in owners tried to appease both audiences, showing both family-friendly entertainment and B films—which grew more trashy with time.

At the height of the outdoor concept, 4000 drive-ins were being operated. Over the years, though, the numbers have waned. This year, the number sits at 357. Only 1.5 percent of movie theaters are drive-ins; at the height of their popularity, drive-ins comprised 25 percent of all theaters.

Courtesy of Flickr user Chuck Wilson

In the '70s, the fad started to decline, largely because of the gas crisis and the increasing value of real estate. Eventually cable TV, at-home movies, malls, and even bucket seats in cars took their toll.

But one good sign about the future? Drive-in owners today who have made the switch to digital projection are obviously in for the long haul, making a commitment to stick around “for 20 or 30 years,” Wright said.

Playing on the nostalgia of the 80th anniversary, Instagram launched a special page to feature its users’ drive-in experiences.

Sources: Parade, USAToday, Wikipedia.

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Everything That’s Leaving Netflix in July
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Universal Studios

Here’s some news you won’t be cheering about: Bring It On is leaving Netflix on July 1st—as are the four of its sequels that are currently part of the company’s streaming library (FYI: there are a total of six Bring It On films altogether—yes, six). The Lethal Weapon franchise will bid farewell, too, as will a handful of classic films like Breakfast at Tiffany’s. To make way for July’s slate of new titles, here’s everything that’s leaving Netflix in July.

JULY 1

Alive

Along Came Polly

An Honest Liar

Beerfest

Before Midnight

Bring It On

Bring It On Again

Bring It On: All or Nothing

Bring It On: Fight to the Finish

Bring It On: In It to Win It

Cocktail

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Lethal Weapon

Lethal Weapon 2

Lethal Weapon 3

Lethal Weapon 4

Little Women

Michael Clayton

Midnight in Paris

Mixed Signals

More Than a Game

Pandemic

Piglet’s Big Movie

Rugrats Go Wild

Scary Movie

Scream 3

Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines

The Art of War

Tropic Thunder

V for Vendetta

JULY 2

Breakfast at Tiffany’s

JULY 8

Alpha & Omega: Journey to Bear Kingdom

Real Husbands of Hollywood: Seasons 1-5

JULY 9

Ratchet and Clank

Serena

JULY 11

Alice Through the Looking Glass

JULY 14

Wild Hogs

JULY 15

Convergence

Lockup: State Prisons: Collection 1

Small Is Beautiful: A Tiny House Documentary

JULY 16

Changeling

Wanted

JULY 29

The Den

JULY 30

A Cinderella Story

Hurricane of Fun: The Making of Wet Hot

Swing State 

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Universal Studios
Every New Movie, TV Series, and Special Coming to Netflix in July
Universal Studios
Universal Studios

Like so much of the moviegoing world, Netflix is in a Jurassic Park state of mind. Among the dozens of new movies, TV shows, and specials that will be added to the company’s already-massive streaming library next month are Jurassic Park, The Lost World: Jurassic Park, and Jurassic Park III. There’s plenty to love for non-dino enthusiasts, too—including new seasons of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee and Orange is the New Black. Here’s everything new that’s coming to Netflix in July.

JULY 1

Blue Bloods: Season 8

Bo Burnham: what.

Chocolat

Deceived

Finding Neverland

Get Smart

Happy Gilmore

Hawaii Five-O: Season 8

Interview with the Vampire

Journey to the Center of the Earth

Jurassic Park

Jurassic Park III

Madam Secretary: Season 4

Menace II Society

NCIS: Season 15

Pandorum

Penelope

Queens of Comedy: Season 2

Rica, Famosa, Latina: Seasons 1-4

Scooby-Doo

Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed

Spanglish

Stealth

Swordfish

The Boondock Saints

The Lost World: Jurassic Park

The Princess Diaries

The Voices

Traitor

Troy

Van Helsing

We Own the Night

We the Marines

What We Started

JULY 2

Dance Academy: The Comeback

Good Witch: Season 4

Romina

The Sinner: Season 1

JULY 3

The Comedy Lineup

JULY 5

Blue Valentine

JULY 6

Anne with an E: Season 2

Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee: New 2018: Freshly Brewed

First Team: Juventus: Part B

Free Rein: Season 2

Inside the World’s Toughest Prisons: Season 2

Sacred Games

Samantha!

Somebody Feed Phil: The Second Course

The Fosters: Season 5

The Legacy of a Whitetail Deer Hunter

The Skin of The Wolf

White Fang

JULY 7

Scream 4

JULY 9

Lockup: Extended Stay: Collection 1

JULY 10

Drug Lords: Season 2

JULY 12

Gone Baby Gone

JULY 13

How It Ends

Jim Jefferies: This Is Me Now

Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain

Sugar Rush

The Epic Tales of Captain Underpants

JULY 15

Bonusfamiljen: Season 2

Going for Gold

The Joel McHale Show with Joel McHale: Part 2

JULY 20

Amazing Interiors

Dark Tourist

Deep Undercover: Collection 3

Duck Duck Goose

Father of the Year

Fix It and Finish It: Collection 3

Home: Adventures with Tip & Oh: Season 4

Jimmy: The True Story of a True Idiot

Last Chance U: EMCC & Life After

Last Chance U: INDY: Part 1

Luna Petunia: Return to Amazia: Season 2

JULY 22

An Education

Disney’s Bolt

JULY 24

The Warning

Iliza Shlesinger: Elder Millennial

JULY 27

Cupcake & Dino - General Services

Extinction

Orange Is the New Black: Season 6

Roman Empire: Reign of Blood: Master of Rome

The Bleeding Edge

The Worst Witch: Season 2

Welcome to the Family

JULY 28

Shameless: Season 8

The Company Men

JULY 29

Her

Sofia the First: Season 4

JULY 30

A Very Secret Service: Season 2

JULY 31

Terrace House: Opening New Doors: Part 3

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