The movie industry is always locked on the next best screenplay, or the newest high definition movie projection technology. But no one is looking towards the past for the next new experience, and they should be.
Take it back to 1933. The Great Depression was in full swing, but a man named Richard Hollingshead didn’t let that stop him from creating that next best thing in the film industry. In an attempt to design a movie theatre experience that was more comfortable for his larger-than-average mother, he revolutionized the movie industry for people of all shapes and sizes for decades to come.
The concept: what if someone could just drive up, park, and watch a movie without ever having to leave their car? Everyone would be able to see the movie through their windshield on a multiple-story high screen and roll their windows down to listen in. The drive-in theatre started with a 1928 Kodak projector mounted on the roof of Hollingshead’s car, a large sheet nailed between two trees, and some low-quality speakers next to the screen. But it spread like a wildfire after Hollingshead patented the idea, and the experience improved rapidly. By the 1950s and 1960s, there were almost 4,000 drive in theatres across America. Visitors could tune in to a special radio station to hear the movie’s audio and leave their windows rolled in case it began to rain.
Tragically, as interest rates for land tracts rose and more impressive projection technology developed, the drive-in theatre began to die out. By now, there are no more than 300 spread across the United States. It’s a shame that a vintage experience like the drive-in theatre is so hard to find nowadays. But is it? Surely there can’t be one within, say, an hour of your home. Even if there was an easily accessible one, the price of a ticket must be monumental!
Or not. The Ocala Drive-In is only a 45-minute drive from the University of Florida’s main campus, and you can get tickets to two showings in one night for a grand total of six dollars. Even after you incorporate the cost of gas (about three dollars each way), a trip to the drive-in theatre is half the price of two regular movie tickets. Plus, who wouldn’t want the brand-new, priceless experience of a vintage drive-in? The Ocala Drive In is a historical spot in Florida, and it is only one of eight total drive in theatres in the state.
The theatre may be old, but it always has screenings of the industry’s best blockbusters, like Captain Marvel and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Located at 4850 South Pine Avenue, Ocala, FL, the Ocala Drive In is bound to provide visitors with a memorable experience – one that’s bound to make you reconsider going back to your same old, local theatre.