A primarily American institution (though it appeared in other countries such as Japan and Italy), the drive-in theater now sits on the verge of extinction. During its heyday, drive-ins could be found in communities both large and small. Some of the larger theaters held up to 3,000 cars and were often filled to capacity on weekends.
The history of the drive-in from its beginnings in the 1930s through its heyday in the 1940s and 1950s to its gradual demise in modern-day America is thoroughly documented here: the patent battles, community concerns with morality (on-screen and off), technological advances (audio systems, screens, etc.), audiences, and the drive-in's place in the motion picture industry.