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1948-49 Theatre Catalog, 7th Edition, Page 247 (236)

1948-49 Theatre Catalog, 7th Edition
1948-49 Theatre Catalog
1948-49 Theatre Catalog, 7th Edition, Page 247
Page 247

Drive-ins Mentioned

Airway Drive-In Theater, Meadville, PA

1948-49 Theatre Catalog, 7th Edition, Page 247

A Fence of Bthoards

Advertising Spaces Adapted To Drive-Ins Have Important Revenue Possibilities

The ancient vaudeville practice of selling merchant advertising on theatre curtains has been adapted to a very modern theatre.

At the Airway Drive-In, Meadville, Pa., a neat additional profit has been brought in by planting the propaganda of local merchants in broadsides around the grounds.

This extra dividend is exceedingly useful both in maintaining neighborly good will with the merchandising fraternities and in defraying the cost of necessary fencing and light baffles. The freshly-painted boards are plainly visible night and day, since each is rigged with an overhead light.

Baseball fans have long been accustomed to being entertained, and sold a bill of goods at the same time through billboards. Remember, too, how placards, celebrating the local hardware man, grocer, and restaurateur, adorned the backdrop in the days of the two-a-day and burlesque?

The fences for drive-ins are a natural for similar purposes.

Another source of revenue that should not be lost sight of is advertising on the other side of the fence. Why not, if it doesnt minimize or conhict with adequate advertising of the theatre itself?

How one enterprising drive-in showman adapted the normally necessary expenditure for a fence and light baffle to an income producing asset. Lending itself to the smaller and less ornate projects, this use of display advertising boards as part of a theatre property is over a century old and actually pre-dated candy vending as a theatre by-product. It is here introduced for its idea value.

The site of a drive-in is invariably along a main highway. For these expensive situations the big companies pay millions of dollars a year. The open-air theatre creates interest so that proximity to it would be a preferred location.

The more stylish drive-ins will probably eschew such open advertisement of their neighbors messages on the grounds that it does not add to the overall aesthetic effect of the surroundings,

AT THE AIRWAY DRIVE-IN, Meadville, Pa.. billboards icrm a colorful, practical barricade and headlight battle. With its individually-lighted lucrative advertising panels, this fence more than pays for itself in a very short time.

that their expensively landscaped preme ises are hardly the setting for billboard exploitation, and that the public always has hated this kind of proselytizing anyway.

But consider the member of the audience who is disappointed in the film. He can relax and enjoy a variety of invitations, and imagine himself in such a place as ftWallerls" stashing away sea foods and steaks. On the other hand his tastes may run to the finer things in life, like the young lady with bliss in her eyes, being presented an engagement ring by a handsome young fellow fortified by a Camel, or a carefully bred debutante sipping her beer over a poster bearing the name of John J. McGillahooleyis bar-and-grill gin mill. Ohol Brother! The Secret life of Walter Mitty had nothing on this!

Yes, like the drive-in is getting to be, the billboards are a deeply-rooted American custom. It is the hope of every advertiser to habituate the people, and to saturate all levels of consciousness with the paramountcy of a given name. Why shouldnit he broaden his scope to include the roadside movie? And why shouldnlt those drive-in fences show a profit if their management feels they wont hurt business?

1948-49 Theatre Catalog, 7th Edition, Page 247