Drive-in movie theaters are venues where you watch a movie whilst sitting in your car, on the hood or on the grass where you’ve parked. Usually they are in a field with a large screen at one end (sometimes an inflatable screen is used) and a projector at the other. The audience listens to the movie either through speakers by each car space, or by tuning into a special FM radio frequency. Popularized in the USA during the 1950’s, they became entrenched in the American culture along with popcorn, baseball and burgers. A Drive-in featured in the 1970’s film Grease, which typified American teen culture in the ‘50s.
Outside the USA, drive-in theatres aren’t very common, although they are found in parts of South Africa – there isn’t one in the Republic of Malta. As the movies are watched after dark, for reasons of visibility, they tend to be open only in the summer months, when evenings are warmer. Typically, a Drive-in theater has a soda bar, selling snacks such as hamburgers, cheeseburgers, hotdogs, chili-dogs, fries, pizza and popcorn and a range of soft drinks.
The Malta Drive-in is found in the State of New York in the United States, and has been in operation since 1949. Located on Route 9, 1 mile south of exit 13s on the Northway, the venue is open for the whole summer from the last weekend in April until September.
The drive-in has two screens and entry charges are $8.00 for adults and children over 12 and $3.00 for children of 12 and under. The theater charges $5.00 to any car where the occupants have brought their own food and drinks. There is a concession stand at the Drive-in selling snacks and beverages. There is a newsletter that patrons can subscribe to find out what’s showing each week.
Malta Drive-In Theatre
2785 Route 9
Malta, NY 12020