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19 Mysterious Photos Of Abandoned Drive In Theatres

As technology advances at such a rapid pace, many of the things we cherished in our youth are dwindling away with each technological advancement. Of course this is the way of life and the things around us, and we must accept the change or stay buried somewhere behind it. But that still doesn’t prevent us for feeling saddened or nostalgic for the things that have come and gone, especially those things which at one time had brought us fond memories and pleasurable experiences.

And of course, the gadgets of the past and the fads of the past aren’t all that has been left to rot and lay forgotten in some field or gutter. Many of the practices the world enjoyed have also been laid to waste. Maybe none of you millennials will remember, but some of you older (not old, just older) readers will remember. Let me paint you a picture: You and your loved one(s) are driving down the deserted road. You can see fields and farmhouses. The sun is setting behind you and in the failing light you can see lights in the distance. Is it a traffic jam? Hardly. You pull into a field, a sign is at the entrance. Before you can read what it says, you can smell hot dogs, roasted nuts and sweet, sweet soda all rolled into one pleasant scent wafting towards your open car window.

The sign says: DRIVE IN THEATER.

Well, if you haven’t figured it out yet, we’re going to be looking back at the old drive in theater as a whole and we’ve got some creepy abandoned pictures to go along with some cool info about drive ins in general. So tilt the old car seat backwards, place the speaker on your car door and get ready for some classic entertainment, 20th century style.

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19 Come On In

via Roadtrippers.com

And of course it isn't always the screens that are the creepiest when left to whither away in some forgotten stretch of land.

The old signs out front at the entrance send their very own gloomy images through our heads.

The rust found on these signs tell us: maybe you shouldn't come in here, or maybe go back where you came from. Kind of like the beast at the threshold symbol used quite often in literature and film. Sometimes, the terrible signs you see early on in any adventure should tell you that maybe you've gone too far.

18 An Oasis

via pinterest.com
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For great photographers out there, there are so many possible pictures just waiting to be taken, or captured is probably a better term. For so many others that are not photographers, the perfect photo is something they can never quite be able to get. Either, a thumb is always in the way, or the photos they take always seem out of focus. Whatever the reason, there's no doubt that a great photo needs a keen eye in the end. Abandoned locations are the perfect spot for such great photographers and the photos they are able to capture. What else could they ask for? Such locations are full of the rotting nature of the elements.

17 Fields Of Green

via 3dartistonline.com

So much time has passed since this outdoor cinema, if you will, has shown its last feature film that grass has grown over the gravel path that once surrounded that screen. The screen too is almost gone, and only the speaker posts stand tall and proud signifying the days gone by.

The speakers themselves look to be in rather decent shape and the passage of time has only barely touched them.

Only the birds in the sky remain to watch the screen in this field and I guess only they can truly appreciate it now, as a place to sit and contemplate their own existence. Hey, at least somebody does.

16 Shrouded In Mystery

via fractionmagazine.com
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Of course this can be looked into, but another question that can be brought up when looking at all these photos of abandoned theaters is: just who owns all this land? It's a very valid question and one that springs forth many others. If the land is owned by someone in particular, then why hasn't he/she gone about selling the plots of all that land? It would seem that there would indeed be a lot of money to be made from all those acres. With all this gentrification going on in North America, whey haven't developers capitalized on that land?

15 The Sights & Smells Of Summer

via blogspot.com

Burger's and fries, fireworks exploding in the night sky, the summer breeze cools the sweat breaking out at your brow, the smell of hot dogs is in the air, maybe even some sweet barbecue chicken and slaw and the scent of sunscreen drying on your skin from earlier that day. What are these things I've just described? If you said, the sights and smells of summer, then you're definitely right, but what else says summer other than an open field, the reels of a classic film and enjoying an epic story unfolding up in the sky (or near it) as the day nears its inevitable end? Why the drive in theater of course.

14 What The Future Holds For Them

via niemanstoryboard.com
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A question to ask at this point would be: what'll happen to all these drive ins that have been laid to waste all over the North American continent? What will come of the land, and the screens still standing but rotting away to time and decay? To that we can answer with the things we've been taught by the past. What came of all that came before us?

Well, the truth is, it all withered away in time, and so shall those giant screens and all that empty land.

Because dear reader, that is the way of this world. All that's left to do is remember. Remember and tell others about what came before this modern world.

13 Still Around

via reddit.com

If you weren't aware, there are in fact still a few drive in movie theatres around out there. And you should be able to find them if you look hard enough. But they are definitely rare, these days. As we said, there have been many advancements that have hurt this particular industry and the industry of regular theatres has also been hit pretty hard. With the advent of the multiple movie-provider websites out there, fewer and fewer people are going out to theatres. But there are still some people out there who enjoy going to watch a flick in theatres and there are fewer still that like going to drive ins, but they're still out there, somewhere.

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12 Visited By People No More

via vanishingsouthgeorgia.com
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And, as is the case with so many abandoned locations, the question goes out: are they haunted? Again, a very valid question, and one with many possible answers. If you take a look at just how many abandoned drive in theaters are actually out there, you'd be pretty surprised. The possibility that all of them are in fact haunted would not be very probable, but to think that a few of them are wouldn't be that far of a stretch, as they definitely look creepy enough. With the land as run down and forgotten as it is and the abandoned speaker posts and concession stands, who can blame anyone for thinking that a few ghosts don't dwell on the premises after all?

11 Close To The Sky

via flickr.com

Of coarse, the screens at these theaters are nowhere near the actual sky. But at the end of the day, they are pretty tall structures. If you look at some of these pictures and the screens themselves in comparison to the trees that can be seen in the photo, you'll get a pretty good idea of the height.

Such high screens were indeed perfect for such places, as sometimes, many cars could be packed onto the land.

Cars that were pretty far back could still see the film they paid to watch without any obstructions.

10 Interesting Fact

via wideopencountry.com
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Back in the day, independent film didn't enjoy the benefits the internet had to offer. Independent film makers and actors relied on the old drive in theater to promote their independent features to the masses and a broader audience. It's true. A perfect example of this is that when action superstar Chuck Norris wrote and starred in his first feature film, he and his team of film makers actually had to tour it themselves, bringing it to theaters across North America, and their venue of choice was the drive in theater. A funny anecdote that has been reported by Chuck himself to Black belt magazine was that while he was promoting his film, Good Guys Wear Black, he had to help deliver a child when a woman went into labor!

9 Another Funny Occurrence

via roadtrippers.com

Just to show how popular these places were throughout the 70s, here's another anecdote about drive in theaters: According to author Stephen King himself, back in the 70s, he was pretty fond of going to the old drive in to watch a movie every now and again. (As described in his memoirs, On Writing). As it turned out, his wife was pregnant at the time, but he wanted to go out and watch a movie with a buddy. Well, maybe he should have stayed home that one time, because it was as he was enjoying the reels of some film, the loudspeaker announced that his wife was having the baby. He said that as he was leaving the place, the place was ablaze with honking horns wishing him the best. Guess he never saw the end of the movie.

8 An Iconic Scene In Cinematic History

via flickr.com
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The drive in in general has been showcased in many Hollywood films and TV shows, that's for sure. But there is in fact quite the iconic scene that many will remember from a little film called, Grease.

Of course we're trying to be funny when we call Grease a little film, as it was rather iconic and ground breaking.

But who can forget one of the most pivotal scenes of the film set at the drive in theater no less? After Sandy breaks up with him, Danny is left to ponder his mistakes and sing a ballad as the reel of a concession stand announcement plays on the screen somewhere behind him.

7 The Lonely Viewer

via suzannesolimon.com

This is probably my favourite photo out of the whole bunch. A single car, a classic car, sits in front of a decaying screen. On the screen is another screen and a single car inf font of it, and within this image lies the exact theme of this whole article we've had for you all here today. It's important to remember that no matter how buried something is in our past, there is always somebody out there who is willing to appreciate it all and have the modern world be reminded of what came before. No matter what the advancements, the past happened for a reason, and without it, we and our current world, wouldn't be here without it.

6 Pull Up A Chair

via open.abc.net.au
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It wasn't rare for people to bring some lawn chairs along to a drive in to enjoy films under the stars and out of their cars. So in honour of that, here sit three chairs. Sitting atop them are three ghosts. They were in their time, extreme fans of cinema and watching a story unfold under the starry sky. So in the afterlife, here they sit watching the blank screen. of course to us, it's a blank screen, and to us they're empty chairs, but rest assured, there they sit and on the screen, a film plays that only they can see.

5 Nature Taking Its Course

via pinterest.com

Of course when things are left to abandon, it's only a matter of time before they're taken over by the elements.

This photograph shows a drive in theater screen that must have been abandoned very long ago, as the branches of some dried up vine made their way up there through many years.

The sight tells us that this theater showed its last feature in the days of Judy Garland, if we're lucky. Then again, it doesn't take long for nature to take its course, and take its course it has in this case. It's actually quite sad to see, isn't it?

4 It Was A Different Time

via pinballrebel.com
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Let's take horror movies for a second. Horror movies are very scary to watch, especially in a dark, and partially empty theater. But imagine being outside, with nothing but open fields everywhere you look. At the same time, you don't really know who's in the vehicles all around you, and you can't always be checking that blind spot, right? I mean you do want to enjoy the movie. It's a very creepy experience watching a horror movie outside, trust us. But at the end of the day, this is already a pretty known fact, as people who go to drive ins already know this and expect a few extra chills by being outside after all.

3 Falling Apart

via fiveprime.com

So many of these places are actually really falling apart, and some more than most. The question we have to ask ourselves: Are they eye sores, or are they historic treasures that should in fact be preserved? I don't think that anything that can evoke so much emotion is an eye sore. After all, an eye sore only disturbs people and if that's the only emotion felt about a place by a collective amount of people, I say go ahead and tow it all away. But so many people seem to appreciate the historic value and nostalgic emotions that these places evoke, I say they should be preserved.

2 Could Make A Comeback

via Roadtrippers
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That is a good question and one that I would like to try to respond to as best I can, if you will all humour me. What we've learned from history is that yes, many of the trends and things we've gotten used to have gone the way of audio cassettes and the phonograph, but we as a people have also learned that bell bottom jeans came back into style, as have many other fashion fads of the past. Can we expect drive ins top make a "come-back?" At the end of the day, anything is possible dear friends.

1 The First Ever Drive In Movie Theater

via djfm.ca

The drive-in in and of itself was first seen in history as way back as the first decade of the 20th century (the 1910s), but the first person to ever patent a drive in theater was Richard Hollingshead. It was located in New Jersey. The idea was to let the people know that it was the ideal place to watch a film, and enjoy the whole process under the stars and out in nature. Imagine watching your favourite film stars out in the open like that? Must have been something to see Brando, Bogart and movies like The Wizard of Oz out there like that on such a huge screen.

Sources: RoadTrippers.com, Reddit.com, FivePrime.com

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