Then and Now: Drive-In Theatre


The Hastings Drive-In Theatre that sat just north of U.S.
Highway 6 is shown in a 1960 file photo.

Then: The setting at the former Hastings Drive-In Theatre on a summer night in the mid-1950s was a scene straight out of a movie itself.

Families, couples and rowdy groups of teenagers pulled their cars through the drive-thru box office and collected their tickets for the film of the evening. They parked their cars next to posts holding extendable speakers, which they could hook onto their car window to listen to the film audio.

An evening feature would begin with a short cartoon, comedy routine or news reel. As the projection booth dispensed the reels of film, the adjoining concession stand dispensed sandwiches, ice cream, and — of course — popcorn.

Then, with a slight flickering on the giant outdoor screen, the main feature would begin — a classic such as "Gone With the Wind" or "The Sound of Music," or a Hastings favorite such as a John Wayne Western movie.

Now: The drive-in movie industry and entertainment industry in general have changed drastically since the drive-in days of the 1940s and '50s.






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