17th September, 2014
USA Drive-Ins Aim to Preserve An American Classic
A new company aims to bring back the all American drive in, offering a classic 20th century American experience to 21st century audiences.
At one time the drive-in movie theatre was a vital part of American culture. Drive-ins reached their peak in the late 1950s with almost 6,000 dotting the nation. Over time, the economics of real estate made the large property areas increasingly expensive for drive-ins to operate successfully. Land became far too valuable for businesses such as drive-ins, which in most cases were active only in the summer months. By 2013, drive-ins comprised only 1.5 percent of movie screens in the United States. At the industry's height, 25 percent of the nation's movie screens had been in a drive-in. In 2014, 350 drive-ins remain.
Today many theatres chains are committed to convert their multiplexs into large dens, with overstuffed chairs and overpriced chicken fingers. The cost of movie going is quickly rising and becoming out of reach for the American family.
Enter a group of committed film exhibitors ,Gina DiSanto, Bill Dever, Bruce Taffet and Albert Kolkmeyer. With over 135 years of experience in film exhibition they decided to form USA Drive-Ins, a company dedicated solely to the re-emergence of the American Drive-In Movie theatre.
“ As a movie exhibitor I started to become very concerned that we as an industry were starting to ignore large parts of our audience” says Bruce Taffet, one of the managing director of USA Drive-ins. “The foundation of our business was serving everyday people, and I wanted to get back to that”
Using various test sites, the principals of USA Drive-Ins have been working on the drive-in re-launch for the past three years. Combining cutting edge digital technology with a healthy respect for drive-in traditions and history, USA Drive-Ins is committed to bringing back drive-ins and ensuring that future generations enjoy this classical form of American entertainment.
“We understand the choice that consumers today have,” says partner Bill Dever “But we realized that in drive-ins there was something that was sacred, a piece of America that people truly longed and hoped for. My partners and I are committed to putting back the drive-in in its rightful place in our culture.”
Towards that end, USA Drive-Ins have entered into a strategic relationship with Johnny Rockets to build drive-ins alongside their new Route 66 concept.
“The combination of Johnny Rockets with a Drive-in was a natural,” says Gina DiSanto “ We share a mutual foundation, Americana....it's very exciting”
Please check out our website www.usadrive-ins.com and on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/USA-Drive-Ins/721881731183023?fref=ts
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Franklin, Indiana 46131
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