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1950-51 Theatre Catalog, 9th Edition, Page 241 (221)

1950-51 Theatre Catalog, 9th Edition
1950-51 Theatre Catalog
1950-51 Theatre Catalog, 9th Edition, Page 241
Page 241

1950-51 Theatre Catalog, 9th Edition, Page 241

The Unusual



The'Air Age Overtakes the Outdoor Theatre With Special Provisions for Flying Patrons

BRIEF: The airplane has come a long may indeed since the day the Wright Brothers launched the first airborne machine on the sandy slopes of Kitty Hawk . . . Wooden and metal itsky birdsii of all types and sizes have come to populate the skies in ever-growing numbers . . . performing a multitude of tasks for modern man . . . Aside from transporting him wherever he wishes, the airplane has been widely employed to carry cargo essential to his daily life . . . and to speed delivery of his written communications . . . There are now in existence several postoplice buildings with roofs large enough to enable mail planes to land and take-off again with perfect ease.

The idea of taking the family to the movies in a plane, however, always seemed a mythical fantasy . . . until an enterprising former flier built a drive-in theatre for use by planes as well as automobiles . . . Every facility has been provided to enable air travelers to drop out of the sky, see a show, and soar off into the ether again with perfect ease . . . This is the story of a li/airy tale,9 come true.

Since this New Jersey itFly-inT theatre opened in 1948, there have been at least two others which opened in other states . . . So this historical survey seems warranted. "




Until recently, the drive-in theatre as a commercial recreation enterprise concerned itself solely with inducing the American motorist and his family to hop into the family jalopy and drive to an outdoor site for a couple of hours of motion picture entertainment. It was more or less inevitable, however, that the increasing popularity of the airplane would lead theatremen to find a way to attract the entertainment dollar of the rapidly growing skyborne segment of the populace. It is significant that the first known step in this direction was taken by a former Navy flier, Edward I. Brown, Jr., who on June 3, 1948, opened both highways and air lanes to the Fly-In Drive-In Theatre at Belmar, N. J.

Movies for the Airborne

Situated near the popular southern New Jersey seashore resort of Asbury Park, the theatre has a seasonal drawing population of some 200,000 persons. Designed by Architect Claude Birdsall and built in approximately three and a half months at a cost of nearly $125,000 for buildings and equipment (does not include cost of land), the operation

accommodates 500 cars on its 16 acres of ground. The really distinguishing feature of the Fly-In Drive-In, however, lies in the fact that provisions have been made to handle 15 planes on separate ramps situated behind the automobile ones. Planes come down on the adjoining Monmouth County Airport landing strip and are taxied to their parking places. Each plane is given its own speaker, and passengers view the show right from the cabin of the plane. When airborne patrons are ready to depart, a jeep service is provided to haul them back to the landing strip for a take-off. Since opening date, the number of aircraft descending to take advantage of this unique entertainment service has

averaged between eight and ten per week. Although more airborne travelers

would be welcomed and taken care of efficiently, the aerial feature of the theatre has not been pushed too strongly because of the number of personnel required to handle aircraft safely.

Advertising Value

In spite of the fact that the theatres aircraft provisions have not yet in them AIRPLANE VIEW of the positioning of this unusual theatre in relation to its neighboring business partner, the Monmouth County Airport. From this it can be obServed how planes can land from any direction. with the complete facilities 0! a modern airport; and can then be taxied into their rump position.
1950-51 Theatre Catalog, 9th Edition, Page 241