By on August 13, 2013

The West Side Drive In movie theater opened on the north side of Eight Mile Road, just across from Detroit, in 1940. Two decades later my parents would put my younger sister between them on the front seat and the three older kids would sit in the back as we watched movies from the comfort of our 1961 Pontiac Catalina. If it got chilly, my folks would spread out a blanket for us. If my dad brought back drinks from the snack bar, my mom would flip down the glove box door and set the drinks down in indentations just for that purpose, an artifact of the other kind of American drive-ins, restaurants that brought food to your car.  Drive-ins were popular with families, teenagers too. Not everything that happened in the back seat was as wholesome as my siblings and I dozing off. It’s probably safe to say that a lot of American families were started and expanded at drive-in theaters. Americans liked to do everything in their cars. By the early 1960s, the automobile had made all sorts of “drive-in” businesses possible, from restaurants to dry cleaners. At one time there were more than 4,000 drive-in motion picture theaters in the United States, one fourth of all of the commercial movie screens in the country. Today there are fewer than 400. Honda now wants us to help save the drive-ins. (Read More…)

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