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1952 Theatre Catalog, 10th Edition, Page 195 (161)

1952 Theatre Catalog, 10th Edition
1952 Theatre Catalog
1952 Theatre Catalog, 10th Edition, Page 195
Page 195


1952 Theatre Catalog, 10th Edition, Page 195

Drive-in Theatres of the 1952 Season

A Breakdown by Territories and States of

Their Locations, Capacities, and Ownerships



BRIEF: This third annual survey of the drive-in theatres of the United States . . . compiled to provide the most accurate and complete list of outdoor theatres which are now in operation . . . or that definitely will be operating during the 1952 season . . . is a valuable operational tool for equipment dealers, film distributors, and drive-in owners . . . as well as an index of the current status of driveins, nationally and in particular areas.

The 3,166 theatres listed here . . . classihed both by film distribution territories and by states . . . represent an increase of 463 over last seasonis total of 2703 . . . with government restrictions limiting the size and number of theatres built during the year . . . accounting for a drop in the rate of increase over preceding years.

Use of this breakdown for mailing list purposes, without the permission of the publishers, is positively restricted.

# For the third consecutive year, THEATRE CATALOG is publishing a complete survey of the drive-in theatres of the United States, and offers this listing as the most comprehensive compilation of drive-in data yet assembled.

The survey is the result of many months of shepherding information, verie fying, cross-checking, and classifying facts to attain the highest possible degree of accuracy and completeness. Since the first drive-in listing appeared in the 1949-50 edition, and continuing after publication of the second listing in the 1950-51 volume, files of data have been carefully maintained to record changes in capacity, ownership, and policy of theatres previously listed, as well as to record all closings and new theatre openings.

As a further check on the accuracy of each listing, all data was compared with the drive-in lists of several major film distributing companies, and all discrepancies were marked for clarification and correction. A first-class mailing was made to the theatre or owner of each of the 3,166 listed, so that any undelivcrable postal addresses might be checked, and either icConciled or deleted. The survey resulting is not only an accurate operational tool for equipment dealers and film distributors but proVides a clear picture of the current status of drive-ins, nationally and in particular areas.

It was revealed that 463 more driveln theatres opened in the year since publication of the last survey, and that their Car capacities total 179,280, on the basis of which the average capacity was 387 cars. This brings the 1952 season drive-in number to 3,166 theatres, totaling 1,354,706 in car capacity, and with an average capacity of 428 cars.

1952 THEATRE CATALOG

In the previous year, there was an increase of 950 theatres, bringing the total of 1,753 driveeins in 1950 up to 2,703 in 1951. There was a slight decline in average car capacity from 447 in 1950 to 435 in 1951.

Government restrictions on theatre construction, making possible the erection of only smaller theatres, accounted for the lower total of new theatres and the reduced average car capacity in 1952.

While no effort was made to locate tfclosedtl or "16mm? drive-ins, quite a number turned up in both categories. An examination of the 15 ficlosed" 35mm. professional drive-ins shows their average capacity to be only 284, well under the national average, which points up the fact that as larger theatres are established in any particular area the "cow pasture" ozoners cannot compete, and fold up unless they are enlarged and improved.

First place in the number of operating theatres goes this year to the Dallas exchange territory, with 367, while the

Atlanta area, with 344, rose to second place, and Charlotte, last years leader, took third place with 308. The only decrease in drive-ins in any state, that of five in California, indicates that the saturation point in the number of outdoor theatres Which might be operated successfully in the state has quite probably been reached, and the sub-standard spots there fell by the wayside in the face of strong competition from bigger, better equipped theatres.

The total number of drive-ins remained the same in Idaho, Maine, Nevada, New Jersey, North Dakota, South Carolina, and Wyoming.

States showing the largest increase in the number of drive-ins were Texas, with 77 new ones; Virginia, with 34; Tennessee, with an increase of 33; Florida, 31; Indiana, 21; and North Carolina, 20.

In distribution by states, Texas leads the list for the third consecutive year, with 351, as opposed to 274 in the previous year, and 196 in 1950. North Carolina



DRIVE-IN THEATRES AND THEIR CAR CAPACITIES BY FILM DISTRIBUTION TERRITORIES

Film Distribution

Territory: No. of Total Theatres Cars Albany, N. Y. . .. . . 54 22,193 Atlanta, Ga. . . . . . .. 344 126,295 Boston, Mass. . . . . . 123 64,172 Buffalo, N. Y. . . . . . . 42 24,843 Charlotte, N. C. . . . . 308 78,509 Chicago, Ill. . . . . . .. 65 44,419

Cincinnati, 0. . . . . .. 136 54,041

Cleveland, 0. . . . . .. 92 41,594

Dallas, Tex. . . . . . .. 367 149,198

Denver, Colo. . . . . .. 86 38,009 Des Moines, Ia. . . . . 32 13,345 Detroit, Mich. . . . . . 75 43,466 Indianapolis, Ind. .. 126 56,524 Kansas City, Mo. .. 94 38,629 Los Angeles, Cal. .. 88 54,843 Memphis, Tenn. . . . . 75 28,603 Milwaukee, Wis. . . 31 17,331 Minneapolis, Minn. . . 54 23,856 New Haven, Conn. . . 22 14,327 New Orleans, La. .. 119 48,708 New York, N. Y. 36 22,062 Oklahoma City, Okla. 100 42,000 Omaha, Neb. . . . . .. 32 12,345 Philadelphia, Pa. . .. 84 45,899 Pittsburgh, Pa. . . .. 121 52,072 Portland, Ore. . . . . . 35 16,528 St. Louis, Mo. . . . . . . 86 40,684 Salt Lake City, Utah 78 30,856 San Francisco, Cal. . 93 51,620 Seattle, Wash. ..... 32 15,107 W'ashington, I). C. . . 136 42,628

Totals .. . .. .. ..3,166 1,354,706

Growth 463 T4179,280 C

Operating#1952 Season













1951 Season

Ave. No. of Ave.

Cars Closed Theatres Cars Change 411 1 45 400 +9 367 263 390 +81 522 109 495 +14 592 42 572 4 255 1 289 254 + 19 685 62 689 +3 397 113 442 +23 452 4 88 417 +4 407 284 416 +83 442 69 401 +17 417 32 407 4 580 2 66 563 +9 449 98 533 +28 411 90 416 +4 (523 78 655 +10 381 62 405 +13 559 27 610 +4 442 46 56 +8 651 16 536 +6 409 2 92 403 +27 613 38 550 -2 420 85 380 +15 386 1 25 393 +7 546 74 556 +10 430 119 427 +2 472 35 474 + 473 68 469 +18 396 74 388 +4 555 3 94 534 -1 472 28 473 +4 313 1 94 368 +42 428 15 2,703 435 +463

387 Ave.

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1952 Theatre Catalog, 10th Edition, Page 195