Open a Drive-In
State of the Industry
Drive-in Industry Challenges
Drive-in movie theaters have faced a lot of challenges in the past few decades: urban sprawl causing land values to skyrocket, daylight savings, availability of first run film product, and the video rental market. Many drive-ins had to deal with a number of these changes at the same time and were not able to hang on. Most attribute the rising cost of real estate as the single biggest factor in the drive-in industry's dramatic decline during the 1960-80s.
Drive-In Movies and Families
In previous decades drive-ins were thought of as teen hang-outs... one of the few places teens could be alone in those days. Today drive-in theater owners are finding success by catering to families with movies like Shrek, Spy Kids, and Harry Potter. Drive-ins appeal to families with affordable concessions, double feature admission pricing, and a 'come as you are' atmosphere. These things enable families to spend quality time together, in a world where simple pleasures have become harder and harder to find.
No one is predicting or expecting drive-ins will become the mass market entertainment choice they were in the late 1950s, however, the industry has seen serveral signs of growth in the last several years that we feel reflect a bit of a resurgence as drive-ins continue to serve an increasing number of families seeking affordable, family entertainment.
Rediscovering the Drive-In Movies
In a time when terrorism and war stories dominate the news, people see the drive-in as an escape. The drive-in represents a simpler time, even to people who did not experience the drive-in heyday first hand. For me, the drive-in conjures up images like ones in 'Happy Days'. As our world becomes more hectic and less safe, the more the drive-in becomes a wholesome retreat from it.
In some ways, taking in a movie under the stars helps us hold on to way of life that is now threatened. Drive-ins are a piece of the past that we long for, took for granted and now strive to recreate. Parents, especially, want to give their kids something from the carefree childhood that they had.
In the last several years we've seen drive-in expansion, drive-in reopenings, and even brand new drive-ins. Drive-ins are catering to families and enjoying great success. Aside from the unique atmosphere and the fact that it's so affordable, now more than ever, people want good, clean fun... and drive-ins have it.
Jennifer Sherer Janisch, CEO
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