> > > >

1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 395 (357)

1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition
1953-54 Theatre Catalog
1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 395
Page 395

1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 395

Elaborate stands have experimented successfully with sundaes and other special items, usually prepared to order at a separate counter. Some success has been had with an item of known popularity, such as a chocolate sundae, fixed in quantity in pasteboard cartons, and sold during breaks between shows. Bulk ice cream in pints also sells well in some stands.


Storage facilities in the drive-in concession stand must be, in many cases, a great deal more detailed than those needed for an indoor house. Where many food items are served, increased space is naturally needed for storage of supplies. In some cases, large refrigerator units are required for meats and ice cream stocks. Cool, clean, well-ventilated shelf space is needed for candies, nuts, popcorn materials, beverage syrups, bread, etc.

With larger volume in a wider variety of items, inventory becomes a more exacting job and a vitally important one. The concession manager himself should properly assume responsibility

MANY drivevins have increased their popcorn business . . . and profit . . . by selling a large box to entering cars at the ticket booth. Attendant suggests box for each customer in each car.


for inventory and for stock control. He should keep accurate, up-to-date records on all items handled.

The job of restocking the display units in the service area from storeroom shelves should be done each night after closing of the stand to the public so that the entire operation is ready to open for business with no delay the following night.


Equipping the concession stand of the modern drive-in is an enterprise which can range in cost from $3,500 to $25,000, according to size and design. The wide variety of machinery available, the variety of foods which can be successfully sold, the patronage of the individual theatre, and the size of the proprietor's pocketbook e all have a bearing on what equipment is selected for a given stand.

One of the most important new pieces of equipment discovered by many stand managers is an ice-making machine. Having this additional service at hand makes it possible to be sure at all times of an adequate supply of clean, crushed ice, something not easy to obtain otherwise. It is also a cheaper way of providing ice for stand operation, and can be expected to Hpay for itself, in savings over a period of a few years.

Obviously, purchase of equipment should be an integral part of overall planning. Items should be selected which do the best possible jobs in their particular fields. Put the accent on speed and capacity.

Modern, efficient, up-to-date equipment will add to the life, and materially increzISc the profit, of a drive-in concession stand.


Eleven per cent of the concession stands at. driveeins are operated on lcasc from the thcatrc managcmcnt. Elsewhcrc, management operates its own stands.

The standard concession contract provides that thc losscc supply equipment, purchase merchandise, and hire and pay personnel. The exhibitor furnishes gas, clcctricity, watcr, and spacc. The cxhibitor gets from 22 per cent to 30 per cent of the gross sales as his return in most cases. In some instanccs, the exhibitor retains the right to hire and pay

THE DRIVE-IN concession stand has proven capable of serving and selling almost any type 01 food. Pizza, fried chicken, shrimp, barbecue. Pasteboard trays for sandwiches, beverages. have proved highly profitable. Almost all stands now use such trays. Warm, clean water and lots of elbow grease keep a reireshment stand attractive, inviting. Absolute cleanliness is a must in the service of toods.

concession personnel, in which cases he gets larger percentage of the gross. This is not considered a wise policy, however, since under this system the man charged with management of the stand has no actual control over his personnel.

Some believe that refreshment sales have a definite saturation point. When that point has been reached through good merchandising and other means, further sale of any one item is likely to be at the expense of another. As a matter of fact, veterans in the drivein business caution operators against looking too hard for that magic limit. The drive-in, circa 1953, is a family trade business. If there are too many enticing items offered for his, his wifcls, and his childrcnis attraction, the man of the house may decide that the drive-in is too ('chnsive for his purse Or, what. is almost as bad, he may elect to pay a baby-sitter to stay with the kids rather than bring them, and their expensive tastes, to the movie.

From any angle, however, the end is nowhcre yet in sight for the upward spiral of the popularity of the modern (lrivc-in and its successful sidckick, the rcfreslnncnt stand. If there is a limit on what can be sold with success, and with profit, at thc drive-in refreshment stand, it has not yet been found.
1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 395