> > > >

1947-48 Theatre Catalog, 6th Edition, Page 192 (180)

1947-48 Theatre Catalog, 6th Edition
1947-48 Theatre Catalog
1947-48 Theatre Catalog, 6th Edition, Page 192
Page 192

1947-48 Theatre Catalog, 6th Edition, Page 192

Layout and Construction of Auto Theatres

Some Salient Details of Drive-In Theatres To Be Appreciated by Prospective Operators

That the future of the drive-in theatre is assured is due to the intense appeal of this type of entertainment to a great number of persons who will not patronize an indoor house and, also, to the large investments which are being made in this type of theatre and, there is nothing of a temporary nature in the construction of modern drive-in theatres.

The reader may recall that prior to the World War the drive-in theatres were erected, complete with equipment, at costs ranging from $25,000 to $40,000 and many persons at that time predicted that the drive-in theatre would be another miniature golf setup-here today and gone tomorrow. Just how wrong this prediction was can best be judged by the large number of drive-in theatres which have been erected since the war, the cost of those operations, and the hundreds more projects which are in the planning stage. This type of entertainment is far more popular today than it was eight years ago.

The fact that construction costs have


Owners' Rvpnlw'nlalivo

jumped better than 50 percent over prewar prices; that the installed price of equipment is often equal to the cost of the completed theatre of the pre-war years; the cost of sites, either purchase or rental, have, in most instances, nearly doubled; the cost of hard surfacing, tiled rest rooms, attractive and sanitary concession stands, and many other items, has not greatly reduced the net earnings is, of course, due to the increased adult admission prices and to charging admission for children, which was not done in the early days.

The modern drive-in theatres, and I do not include the large number of shotgun type of operation, are costing from $60,000 to $300,000 and upwards, including equipment, but not including the land. Every operation with which I am

v familiar is doing a tremendous business

and even in a certain location in Ohio,

FIGURE l-Layout "A" is the typical, ideal. full-rump arrangement which is the most desired principally because it brings the most cars closest to the screen. The schedule shows the number of cars desired, the required width, the required depth, and the number of ramps required for a given number of cars. In each instance, the depth includes a setback from the highway at about 200 leet.


;. ,A a.

where there are six drive-in theatres in a city of 290,000 population, they would be showing good earnings if one or two of the exhibitors had not become panicky and started to cut prices and bring on cut-throat competition.

This big business definitely indicates that the drive-in theatre has become a permanent part of the motion-picture industry and it is the general opinion of those persons who are closest to this type of entertainment that the more drive-in theatres there areewithin reasonable limits, of course-the greater will become the drive-in theatre consciousness of the motion-picture public.

Millions of men and women who were in the Armed Forces and to whom outdoor life appeals, together with many additional millions of factory and office workers who are anxious to take their evening entertainment out of doors in naturets own airvconditioning are the people who desire to enjoy their movies surrounded by good, clean, fresh air which is untainted by the odors of peanuts, garlic, onions, perspiration, and other man-made or created smells. These persons prefer to enjoy their movies in practically the same privacy in which they enjoy reading the evening newspaper in their own homes. These persons are the nucleus of the comparatively new branch of the picture industry which is growing to undreamed of proportions.

When the admission price to drive-in theatres was commonly n35c for Adults, Children Freefl a very simple and cheap type of operation was not uncommon. At this time, however, with the admission prices usually at the same level as that charged in the better downtown houses, the entire situation is changed. Todayis drive-in theatre patron must be given the best of everything in projection, sound, adequate concession facilities, strictly high-grade rest rooms, and the other conveniences found in the better type of indoor houses if the drivein theatre is to hold the place in the entertainment field in which it has become an important part.

The owner of the drive-in theatre has a definite advantage over the exhibitor of an indoor operation in many ways, chief among which are the facts that he has no cut seats to repair; no seats to be replaced when a new type of seating appears in the market; no interior decorating to be renewed at. frequent intervals; no air-conditioning to be. installed and maintained; no heating expense during the winter months; no new type lighting to be installed every few years; and many minor items which are not required by even the finest drive-in theatre operations.

It is the writers firm opinion that the end of 194!) will see more than one thousand drive-in theatres operating throughout thesc United States, in spite

1947-48 Theatre Catalog, 6th Edition, Page 192