|Camden Drive-in Theater
On June 6, 1933, the Camden Drive-in Theater opened for its first show, Wife Beware, starring Adolphe Menjou. That night, 600 people came to the theater for one of three showings.
Camden Drive-in Theater was located on 250,000 square-feet
of land on the Camden-Pennsauken border. (The streets are now
known as Admiral Wilson Boulevard and Lee Avenue.) The theater
cost $60,000 to build and had spaces for 400 cars. Hollingshead
charged 25 cents per car and an additional 25 cents per person,
but no car paid more than a dollar.
develop a sound system for his theater, Hollingshead hired
RCA, which was then based in Camden. RCA Victor, as they were
known back then,
created a system called directional sound. Three 6-foot-by-6-foot
speakers were mounted next to the 40-foot-by-50-foot screen
to provide sound.
people in cars at the back of the drive-in could not hear the
sound well. For people in the back to hear at all, the
speakers had to be turned up very loud. Then, people living
theater complained of the noise.)
opening night, the theater offered two shows a night. Theater
workers noticed license plates from 43 states during the summer
kept the theater in Camden for only two years. In 1935, he
sold the theater property and opened a drive-in in Union.
Next: Fly-in Theater