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Old 06-06-2019, 01:34 AM
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June 6, 1933: The first drive-in theater opens in Camden, New Jersey.

The drive-in theater is patented by Richard M. Hollingshead, Jr., whose family owns and operates the R.M. Hollingshead Corporation chemical plant in Camden. In 1932, Hollingshead conducted outdoor theater tests in his driveway. After nailing a screen to trees in his backyard, he set a 1928 Kodak projector on the hood of his car and put a radio behind the screen, testing different sound levels with his car windows down and up. Blocks under vehicles in the driveway enabled him to determine the size and spacing of ramps, so all automobiles could have a clear view of the screen. Hollingshead applied for a patent of his invention on August 6, 1932, and was given a patent on May 16, 1933.

Hollingshead's drive-in opens on June 6, 1933, on Admiral Wilson Boulevard in Pennsauken Township, a short distance from Cooper River Park. It offers 400 slots and a 40 by 50foot screen. He advertises his drive-in theater with the slogan, "The whole family is welcome, regardless of how noisy the children are." The first film shown is the Adolphe Menjou film Wife Beware.

Failing to make a profit, Hollingshead will sell the theater after three years to a Union, New Jersey theater owner who will move the infrastructure to that city. But the concept will catch on nationwide.