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1950-51 Theatre Catalog, 9th Edition, Page 253 (233)

1950-51 Theatre Catalog, 9th Edition
1950-51 Theatre Catalog
1950-51 Theatre Catalog, 9th Edition, Page 253
Page 253

1950-51 Theatre Catalog, 9th Edition, Page 253

Recreation Areas in Outdoor Theatres

Simple Playgrounds and Miniature Amusement Parks Are Studied in Regard to Equipment and Operation

BRIEF: The drive-in theatre itself is young in the annals of show business . . and it must look to the youth of the nation for much of its patronage . . . Adult attendance . . . of course . . . looms as an important factor in the financial success of an outdoor theatre . . . but it is the children who often decide whether the family will go to the drive-in or elsewhere.

If the kids are to urge their parents to take them out to the drive-in . . . the exhibitor must provide facilities for their amusement other than just the movie on the screen . . . Recreation areas . . . which may include simple playground apparatus, mechanized rides, or both . . . seem to be the ideal answer to the problem of keeping youngsters occupied . . . while their elders relax in peace to watch the show.

Described below are two common types of amusement facilities with respect to: location . . . equipment . . . supervision . . . and operating policies.

The success of any drive-in theatre depends, in the final analysis, on its ability to attract and retain family patronage. In order to accomplish this end and achieve the prosperity which comes with it, the outdoor theatre must have something definite to offer people of all ages, above and beyond the show on the screen.

One of the greatest benefits which the drive-in alone can extend to parents is saving them the expense and/or trouble of obtaining a baby sitter to watch their offspring at home when they go out for the evening. Youngsters of any age can

be conveniently brought along to a drivein show, and whatever restlessness they do exhibit will still cause their elders half the discomflture in the privacy of the family car that they would suffer at a roofed theatre. This one distinctive drive-in advantage is perhaps responsible for more adult patronage than any other single factor.

Shrewd drive-in operators have come to realize, however, that this process can, and should, work in reverse. In other words, powerful inducements should be offered to attract children to the drive-in as well as their parents, particularly so because the younger generation exercises a strong infiuence on the allocation of the family entertainment dollar.

In View of the fact that most children are happier and less troublesome to their parents when they have some object of diversion, a properly equipped recreation area is probably the biggest drawing card a drive-in operator can offer to juvenile patrons. Parents will be quite prone to take their offspring to theatres with such facilities because the children may be sufficiently diverted to enable the former to enjoy most of the ShOW in relaxed comfort. Many elders will come early to let the children play before dusk falls, so that they will be tired enough to rest peacefully during the show. Of course, children may continue to play throughout the performance as well, if good lighting and supervision have been provided in the recreation area.


A survey of the amusement facilities in many drivenins shows that there are two kinds of recreation areas presently

FAMILIAR CARTOON CHARACTERS ON SURROUNDING WALLS delight young patrons who visit the de luxe playground at the Brundywme Dnve-In, Wilmington, Del. A slide. swing, and whirl all after many hours of lun for small try." and their elders may relax in comfortable chairs lurnished.

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1950-51 Theatre Catalog, 9th Edition, Page 253