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TripAdvisor shines its headlights on top drive-in movie theaters

Photo: Image by TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor shines its headlights on top drive-in movie theaters

By Krista Hostetler. CREATED Jul 30, 2014

TripAdvisor, the world's largest travel site, announced the 10 top drive-in movie theaters in the country.

The top spots were ranked according to the TripAdvisor Popularity Index, which takes into account the quality, quantity and recency of reviews on TripAdvisor.

From Cape Cod to the coasts of California, these retro theaters offer movie-goers an enjoyable blast from the past.

"Drive-in movie theaters often evoke a nostalgic feeling for years gone by," says Brooke Ferencsik, director of communications for TripAdvisor. "For those looking to visit these classic American attractions, the TripAdvisor community has identified 10 fantastic drive-in movie theaters that offer affordable admission and a unique viewing experience."

1. Skyway Drive-In Theatre: Fish Creek, Wisconsin
2. Swan Drive-In: Blue Ridge, Georgia
3. Stars & Stripes Drive-In Theatre: Lubbock, Texas
4. Highway 21 Drive-In Theater: Beaufort, South Carolina
5. Coyote Drive-In: Forth Worth, Texas
6. Saco Drive-In Theater: Saco, Maine
7. Hull's Drive-In: Lexington, Virginia
8. Starlite Drive-In: Wichita, Kansas
9. Wellfleet Drive-In Theatre: Wellfleet, Massachusetts
10. Sunset Drive-In Theatre: San Luis Obispo, California

The drive-in theater was created in the 1930s in Camden, New Jersey.

Originally, the movie's sound was provided by speakers on the screen and later by an individual speaker hung from the window of each car.

Now, most theaters broadcast the soundtrack at a low output power on AM or FM radio to be picked up by a car radio.

The popularity of drive-ins peaked in the 1950s and 1960s, mostly in rural areas, with approximately 4,000 drive-ins across the country.

According to the Los Angeles Times, at the industry's height, 25 percent of the nation's movie screens were at drive-ins.

By 2013, drive-ins accounted for only 1.5 percent of movie screens.

Krista Hostetler

Krista Hostetler

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Krista Hostetler is currently the Senior Web Editor for ktnv.com and KTNV Mobile.