June 6th will forever be remembered as
D Day, the day the Allied Forces stormed
the beaches to retake France. It should be
remembered!. It was the beginning of the
end of World War II.
But June 6th also marks another
historic anniversary. Another "D Day!"
It was the day, back in 1933, that the
first Drive In Movie Theater opened! And
it happened in Camden, New Jersey at the
"Park In Theater."
Most of us, at one time or another, spent
some time at the Drive In. Many may have
even watched the movie!
I practically lived in Drive Ins during ,many
of my youthful years!
My Dad was the first projectionist at the
Hazleton Drive In, the first to open in lower
He later worked at the Laurel, also in
the Hazleton area, and the Motor View in
Nescopeck, near Berwick.
He also filled in for operators at the
Valley Drive In at Hometown and the
Brandonville Drive in at....yep...Brandonville.
There were, of course, others in our area.
I spent time at those too, once I got my
own car to get there!
It's kind of sad to see so many of them
gone now. Most, of course, fell victim to
the rising value of their real estate.
A Car Dealership now stands where
the Maple Drive In used to operate at
There's a small manufacturing operation
where the Valley Drive In once welcomed
movie goers and swimmers at its community
And Township officials now handle their
governmental duties where I used to watch
the stars on the screen at the Motor View.
In the 1950's and 60's there were some
5,000 Drive In theaters across the country!
Today there are fewer than 500!
Fortunately for those of us in northeastern
Pennsylvania a few of those surviving Drive
In's are in our region! And we may even be
getting on back! The Moon Light in Wyoming!
You can still see two movies for the
price of one (for those who go to watch the
movie) and probably see a pretty good menu
in their concession stands!
No more speakers to prop up on your
window anymore. These days you use your
car radio to get the sound. And that way you
can choose your own music to play till you
feel it's dark enough to start the show and start
blowing your horn! (Some things never change
including the kids, and others, who feel
obligated to wave their hands as they walk in
front of the projection booth.)
The biggest change, however, other than
the price is the modern trend of parking
vehicles with their tail end facing the screen.
If we did that "back in the day, we'd
have to watch the feature in or rear view
Today customer open the hatch in their
van and either sit there or on folding chairs
they haul along with them!
The operators like them too They don't
have to wonder how many friends you're
trying to sneak in inside your trunk!
So, since it's June 6th you may want to
remember one D Day and celebrate the other!
Both should bring back memories!
Hope you invade your local Drive
In and that all your NEWS is good!