Drive-Ins.com
> > > >

1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 120 (86)

1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition
1953-54 Theatre Catalog
1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 120
Page 120


1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 120

Drive-In Theatres of the 1953 Season

Their Locations, Capacities, and Ownerships A Breakdown by Territories and States of



BRIEF: This fourth 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 1953 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 3,841 theatres listed here . . . classified both by film distribution territories and by states . . . represents an increase of 675 over last seasonis 3,166

. . the removal of the Governmental ban on materials and building is seen as the chief cause for the spurt in drive-in

construction. . . Use of this breakdown for mailing list

purposes, without the permission of the publishers . . . is positively restricted.

-.-- On June 30, 1953 all Government restrictions on theatre construction and the allocation of building materials were lifted completely. A few months earlier, restrictions had been partially lifted. Almost immediately, and with an impact not unlike that of a bursting dam, new drive-in theatres began mushrooming all over the country.

Despite the uneasy world situation, both experienced theatremen, and newcomers to the field, were willing to place their time, effort and fortunes into open air motion picture theatres.

Estimates for total new drive-in construction in 1953 ranged anywhere from 1,000 to 5,000. However, as with all 9estimates" were based almost wholly on guesswork, intuition, and wishful thinking.

Realizing the importance of replacing guesses with facts, the editors and staff of THEATRE CATALOG proceeded to compile the most complete listing of drive-in data yet assembled.

Since this exclusive listing was instituted for the benefit of CATALOG readers some four years ago, the job of maintaining a watch over every drive-in in the United States has become increasingly difiicult. The obvious reason is of course the tremendous growth of this form of theatre exhibition.

In 1942 there were some 90 existing drive-ins scattered across 27 states. Following World War II, and with the lifting of restrictions on gasoline and travel, a real boom started. The first authentic, state-by-state locally checle and nonduplicating list was assembled for publication in the 1949 edition, and listed 748 theatres with individual ownerships, and with individual car capacities that totaled 311,203, or an average of 416 speakers.

In 1950 this same locally checked list showed a growth to 1,753 theatres with total car capacity of 784,645 speakers, or an average per theatre of 447. Continued growth brought 1951is total to 2,703 theatres with 1,175,426 cars, and 1952 continued with 3,166 theatres and 1,354,706 cars.

As in the previdus three listings, every effort has been made to check the accuracy of the compilation. All data was compared with the drive-in lists of several major film distributing companies, and all discrepancies were marked for clariiication and correction. A first class mailing was made to the theatre owner of each of the 3,841 listed, so that any undeliverable postal address might be

Film Distribution

checked, and either reconciled 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.

The results of this survey show that at the time the list was made up there were 3,841 outdoor theatres in operation with a total car capacity of 1,621,069, or an average of 422 cars. For the comparable period last year there were 3,166 theatres with a car capacity of 1,354,706, or an average of 428 cars.

Therefore, in the past 12 months some 675 new drive-ins were put into operation in the United States. It is interesting to

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



Territory: Operating -- 1953 Season No. of Total Average Theatres Cars Cars Albany, N. Y. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 55(1*) 22,513 409

Atlanta, Ga. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 436(5*) 155,215 356

Boston, Mass. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 1280*) 67,079 524

Bulfalo, N. Y. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 46 26,523 576

Charlotte, N. C. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 364 96,854 266

Chicago, Ill. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 66(1*) 44,876 680

Cincinnati, 0. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 149(2*) 64,560 433

Cleveland, 0. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 96 44,264 461

Dallas, Tex. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 415 174,950 422

Denver, Colo. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 104(1*) 46,060 433

Des Moines, Ia. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 49(2*) 20,960 428

Deteroit, Mich. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 91(1*) 51,249 563

Indianaolis, Ind. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 126(2*) 56,379 447

Kansas City, Mo. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 156(1*) 60,201 386

Los Angeles, Cal. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 98 60,691 619

Memhis, Tenn. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 110(10*) 42,499 386

Milwaukee, Wis. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 53(2*) 28,167 531

Minneapolis, Minn. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 79(8*) 32,851 416

New Haven, Conn. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 24(2*) 16,009 667

New Orleans, La. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 156(2*) 63,641 408

New York, N. Y. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 36 22,636 630

Oklahoma City, Okla. . . . . . . . . . . .. 128(13*) 50,197 392

Omaha, Neb. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 44(2*) 17,306 393

Philadelphia, Pa. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 106(2*) 55,908 527

Pittsburgh, Pa. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 13l(3*) 55,261 422

Portland, , Ore. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66(l*) 29,360 445

St. Louis, Mo. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 120(1*) 51,695 431

Salt Lake City, Utah . . . . . . . . . . . .. 87 33,494 385

San Francisco, Cal. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 100(2*) 55,131 551

Seattle, Wash. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 60(5*) 26,075 435

Washington, I). C . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 162 48,465 299

Total . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3,84l(79*) 1,621,069 422

(*).l/thncncr car capacities could not be ascertained, the theatres themselves were included in the totals, and the number unverified was signalch in the armompanying parenthesis. For ouch such theatre, the avcmgc car capacity of the known thcatcres in the particular state was then added to the gross cur (7(t}NLClliGS of the territory, in order '10 project the most probable totals.

Theatres so treated represent less than 2% of the gran total.

THEATRE CATALOG 1953-54
1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 120