Did daylight savings time bring an end to drive-in theaters?

Seems like a contributing factor.
Also, are there any drive-in theaters still in existence?

Drive-in theaters bit the dust with home video.

As of a couple years ago I’ve driven by drive-ins that had current movies on their placards (even though they looked indistinguishable from closed ones :))

In the 70s and early 80s I must have gone to drive-in theatres at least a dozen times, and daylight saving was in force back then.

Daylight Savings Time was first introduced in the US in 1918. Long before drive in theaters.

As posted video helped kill it and probably smaller cars had an impact.

We have one in the Tampa area Ruskin Family Drive-in and probably the only thing keeping it afloat is that it’s open year round.

We mostly went in the winter and they piped heat in. I suppose they could have piped AC in in the summer, but I don’t think they did. In any case, it was pleasanter to go to a indoor movie house in the summer.

Hijack: My father told me that when he was growing up (he was born in 1906), movies closed in the summer. Nobody would go into those hot stuffy places. Then came AC and the theaters were just about the first adopters and suddenly, in the '30s, summer became their busiest season. Hardly anyone had home AC and for 15¢ you get could a couple hours of cooling.

The switch to digital **is a huge threat ** to small and second-run theatres, and surviving drive-ins.

Drive-in movies killed daylight saving time in Indiana starting in 1967. DST was reinstated in 2006. I was a kid when DST went away and hated that because it meant it wouldn’t stay light out 'til nearly ten PM any more.

The rise in real estate prices was another factor in the demise of drive-in theaters. Many properties were redeveloped.

There are two drive-ins in the Twin Cities metro area and they’re definitely not open year round. They do a great deal of business on the weekends.

To continue the hijack: Yeah, I remember as a kid in the early 60’s riding through West Texas and seeing theaters that still had the “It’s COOL Inside!” signs.

DST was already in use in most areas of North America in the 1960s, when drive-ins were still going strong, so it probably isn’t a factor.

Most people blame home theatres, cable, etc. for the decline. I know my family used to go there frequently in the 1970s, until we finally got a colour TV for the 1976 Olympics.

According to Wikipedia, there were about 371 drive-in installations left in the United States in 2011.

Heard a news report on the radio about drive-ins in Québec (where I live: population 7 million, low density). In the entire province, there are still 9 drive-in theatres. 4 or 5 of them have already taken steps to project digital movies, as celluloid film will no longer be used for movie distribution in 2013.

According to USA Today, there are 364 left in the US and there may or may not be some sort of revival going on.

I think increasing land prices did drive-ins out of business. The one near where I grew up kept operating until it was more profitable to sell to a housing developer.
In places where the land values are lower, drive-ins still operate. There was one in Salt Lake when I lived there, and I understand they’re still big in the south.

A few holdouts still operate elsewhere, too. I just went to one last weekend, outside Boston.

If those things are to blame, then why has indoor cinema continued to prosper long after the collapse of drive-ins?

Real estate issues make much more sense; for the amount of land involved (and the limited seasonal use of it), a drive-in doesn’t generate much revenue.

It also seems like improvements in indoor theatre might be to partially to blame, particularly sound and image quality. whereas a drive-in delivers sound through a crappy little speaker next to your car, and a dim image on a distant, weathered projection screen, modern indoor theatres have high-fidelity surround sound systems and brightly lit, clean, wide projection screens.

Well, most drive-in theaters today broadcast the audio on a low-powered radio station instead of relying on those little speakers that hung on the window. So the sound quality is as good as your car’s stereo.

Because by and large, people didn’t go to drive-ins for the movie. They came to spend some private time with someone else, with a movie playing in the background.

Because the indoor movie experience isn’t the same as the drive-in experience. They have different markets.

There is The Mendon drive-in located outside of Boston. It is only open seasonally but has been in operation since the early 1950’s. It shows only the top first-run movies and there are parking spaces for about 800 cars and it is usually packed full on the weekend. It is much cheaper than going to a regular movie theater as well ($20 per car for a double-feature no matter how many people fit in your vehicle) and the snack bar is better and cheaper than a regular movie theater as well.

I assume they get some type of special pricing from the studios to be able to show movies that cheaply but I don’t know that. There is still a niche market for drive-in’s outside of the nostalgia. They are great for families with small children because they can get out and play if they don’t want to sit still or pass out in the back seat for the later show if they get tired. You don’t have to worry about disturbing other people much either. Just role up your windows and yap away if you want. Everyone has their own sound through their car stereo although you can sit outside and still hear because everyone else is playing it for you.

I just returned from a business trip to Malta, NY (just north of Albany) There was a drive-in with two screens in operation. I think they can survive in rural areas where land is not expensive and people would have to drive to an indoor theater anyway.

Also, a few years back there was one still running in Raton,NM. At the back, they had built a two story motel with picture windows facing the screen so you could catch the movie from your motel room. Not sure if it is still in operation or not. As I have gotten older I prefer to travel in daylight.

In addition, the indoor theater business model changed dramatically in the 1970s and 1980s, with the growth of the multiplex. With a drive-in theater, you’re only able to show one movie at a time (unless you have the rare drive-in with multiple screens). The “one big screen” indoor theater is largely extinct (at least for first-run theaters), and being able to show multiple films simultaneously has helped the indoor theaters.