America’s Faded Drive-In Theatres

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America’s Faded Drive-In Theatres

Wednesday May 10, 2017 Written by Garry

These photos of America’s decaying drive-in theatres are proof of just how much our film-viewing habits have changed a lot over the years. They were taken by Lindsey Rickert as she took a 65-day, 20,000-kilometre road trip to revisit the outdoor cinemas of her childhood, most of which now lay abandoned.

In fact, where some 5,000 drive-in cinemas once thrived in towns and cities throughout the U.S., now only some 400 still operate. That number keeps dwindling, not just because of our viewing habits, but also because of the rising costs involved in upgrading projector systems to digital, leaving many drive-ins unable to screen new films.

Still, 400 theatres is not a wholly insignificant number. Rickert’s resulting photo book, Drive-In America, features many of the cinemas that have survived, placed alongside those that are slowly being reclaimed by vegetation. Far from mere ‘#abandonporn’, her photos hold on to a part of childhood and the world’s recreational history.