In the "Old Days," when you wanted to go see a movie, you went to the drive in. That was where the kids went on dates, where families went on movie night, and where you could see a movie for about 50 cents. Sure, you had to wait longer to see a movie you wanted to see at the drive in, because the movies usually didn't get to the drive in until they were done playing in the theatres, but the drive in was the American experience. Patrons would start honking their horns when they thought it was dark enough for the movie to start. Usually there was a playground for the kids in front of the screen, and a snack bar not too far away. At intermission - and sometimes during the movie - people would get out of their cars and get some food. Maybe it didn't taste the best (and wasn't the most healthy thing you could eat), but this was The American Experience we're talking about here! While you were getting food at the snack bar, you could look over and see the little box of popcorn and cup of soda dancing around the screen and check on your kids at the same time. You would leave before the end of the movie, of course, and while the kids were watching out the back window to see if the 500 ft. woman really destroyed the city, you would be thinking to yourself that you beat the crowd getting out this time. (Apparently you weren't as interested in the 500 foot woman)
The first ever drive in was located in Camden, New Jersey, by a man named Richard M. Hollingshead Jr. The first drive in was really just a Kodak projector on the hood of his car. He put a radio behind the screen and rolled the windows up, down, and partway up, to anticipate any problems patrons to his drive in might have. He then tackled the problem of cars. The cars in the rear wouldn't be able to see the screen, so he built a ramp system that a car could drive it's front wheels onto. The farther forward or back your car sat, the better the view of the screen. Satisfied that this setup would work well, he went to work buying land and then building it into the country's first drive in theatre. He then contracted RCA Victor to supply the sound system. he had three big speakers next to the screen for sound. The problem with this was that since sound travels faster than light, for the people in the back it would be like watching a Godzilla movie every time they went. Still, when he opened his theatre on June 6, 1933, it was a big success. The name of his theatre was just "Drive - In Theatre" (there was only one, so he didn't have to be very original, ok?). He charged 25 cents per car per person, but no car had to pay more than a dollar to see the movie (Good deal, eh?).
There was even a fly in theatre that ended up being built - in Asbury Park, New Jersey. The planes would land and then taxi to the last row of the drive/fly in. after the movie, they would be towed back out to the hangers.
New Jersey at one time had more drive ins than any other state, but now there is not a drive in left in New Jersey.