Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Delmar's First Drive In Movie Theatre

As you may have noticed I have been posting a number of ads from the 1940 to 1944 time period. This is because I have been trying to research Delmar's First Drive In Movie Theatre, which was in that time period. I have not been that successful in my research. Neither the State Register newspaper in Laurel, nor the Bi-State Weekly in Delmar had much to say about it other than running the ads for the drive-in. What little I have been able to determine is it seems to have been in business from July 1941 thru 1943. In Various ads it shows the location of one mile north of Delmar on (Old) RT13, some ads show it to be two miles north of Delmar. If the town limits in 1941 were close to what they are today this would place the drive-in at the feedmill and Allen Mill Road. If it was two miles north it would where the used furniture store is (Mr. T's Furniture).

Advertising was interesting as they said in some ads the movie was free but parking was 30 cents.

Like the Delmar Drive-In that would come along in the 1950's this one had live shows also. Acts such as Vince Arvey and his Ramblers, Bill Dove and His Maryland Yodelers, and of course, Susabelle and Hessie Robinson.

The only reference I came across to the Drive-In was in the July 4, 1941 Bi-State Weekly.

An Open air movie park has been opened on US Route 13, one mile north of here.

The park is similar to that near other eastern cities and motion pictures are viewed from the car.

Now this was in a time when the local newspapers would write reviews of current movies showing and list upcoming movies with photos of the stars (Free advertising) plus run the ad for the local theatre. The above ad did not sound like the town was wild about the concept of a Drive-In Movie coming to town. There was nothing mentioned in the Laurel paper.

My guess is what killed the drive-in movie theatre was gas rationing in WWII. But it may have been it just was not popular and didn't financially panout.

Anyway I have more of a collection of ads and article from that time period that I will post.

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