JB's Journal: Drive In Movies - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

JB's Journal: Drive In Movies

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EAST TEXAS (KYTX) - "The people of Texas really took to the idea of the drive-in, this is the state where it flourished the most" remarks Robert Phillips.

Drive in movie theaters took off in the 1950's with over 4,000 screens popping up all over the United States; especially in small towns.

"Texas had over 500 theaters in 1958." Phillips continues "Cruising, going out with your girl was a big thing to do, drive-in fit in with that, perfect place to go on a date and bring your little ones with you." 

Martha Murray recalls "Sometimes the kids were too rambunctious, you didn't get to see all the movie much but it was a fun outing." 

theaters would charge by the car-load.  

According to Gladys McCrory "back then when I went, we would see how many people the trunk would hold, we would get in eight or ten of us in a car, then, during intermission we danced."

The Lone Star Drive-In Theater near Daingerfield opened in the 1950's but like most drive-ins, it declined in popularity; some were torn down, some were overgrown with brush and abandoned.
   A screen that once showed the likes of James Cagney and Gary Cooper, is now hidden by a curtain of trees.  boxes stand in silence, and the sounds of movie is just a faded memory. The projector room, concession and ticket booth, are all now victims of time and neglect. 

Drive inn movie theaters are trying to make a comeback.

  Robert Phillips offers this closing thought, "Drive-ins today still have first run films, modern technology, but more importantly have the community atmosphere.The biggest and best home theater can't compete with a screen larger than a building."

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