The Drive-In Movie Theater

Getty Images

The Drive-In Movie Theater

In 1958, at the height of the drive-in movie era, there were some 5,000 theaters spanning the country, the perfect blend of America’s pastimes: movies and cars. But as Americans embraced television and later the VCR, and land prices rose, the number of theaters dwindled to 750 in 1998, according to the National Association of Theatre Owners' Web site. Now, another shift seems to be taking place. Buoyed by nostalgia, drive-ins (there were around 635 at last count) are making a small comeback, taking advantage of DVD players, digital projectors, and iPods. Call it Drive-in 2.0.