AT THE DRIVE-IN on National Drive-Thru Day

The American Drive-In invention was patent approved in May 1933 by the huge movie fan Richard Hollingshead. The first Automobile Movie Theatre later opened in June 1933. During the golden age of drive-ins between the 1950s and '60s, there were more than 4,000 drive-ins throughout the United States. Here's where they can be found across the world and celebrated annually today (24th July) National Drive-Thru Day.

Top Gun, Drive In Movie With itison, Edinburgh
Top Gun, Drive-In Movies, Edinburgh © itison

AT THE DRIVE-IN on National Drive-Thru Day

Today, we celebrate National Drive-Thru Day - which couldn’t be more timely. With the launch of many drive-ins and drive-thru’s here in the UK as we navigate our way into the long term impacts of social distancing, we look at the revival and innovations of drive-ins and even more drive-thru options around the world. Once a retro pastime, contactless interactions at the drive-in has become the norm for many businesses as they adapt and develop new ways to keep customers coming back. Spanning restaurants, classic cinemas and even wineries, we’ve pulled together our top drive-in picks. 

itison Drive-in Movies By The Sea
itison Drive-In Movies By The Sea ©itison

About National Drive-Thru Day

National Drive-Thru Day was started by Jack In The Box restaurant back in 2002 celebrating the appreciation for the availability of convenient meals that can be picked up from a vehicle.

It has been said that the first motorists were served from their cars, back in 1921. Jack in the Box restaurant opened its first location in 1951, in San Diego, California, selling hamburgers for 18 cents.


itison Drive-In Movies, Scotland

Since 2013 itison has welcomed over 200,000 people to there entertaining drive-in events. This summer they have organised more events from sing out loud musicals to feel-good favourites from the '80s and '90s.

This summer taking place on the beautiful shores of one of Scotland's National Parks - Loch Lomond. Find out more here.


Do It Theatre, Japan 

The drive-in theatre 2020 project ‘Do It Theatre’ first set up in the parking lot of the Oiso Long Beach resort in Kanagawa Prefecture, which used to have a permanent drive-in theatre, as a way to offer people a way to release health crisis-related tension. Today organisers have erected a permanent screen for drive-in theatre sightings to be enjoyed. In August Do It Theatre will also be holding drive-in theatre experiences at the Osaka Expo Memorial Park. The project was set up to provide those visiting with an unforgettable experience that contributes to the entertainment industry. For future screenings see here.

Expo Memorial Park, Osaka, Japan
Expo Memorial Park, Osaka, Japan


Drive-in theatres in Colorado

Colorado is home to eight drive-in theatres each bringing a different charm. Tru Vu Drive-In is situated between State Highway 92 and the Gunnison River and offers visitors a chance to watch a movie away from the city lights and under the stars. The Blue Starlite Drive-In is a summer, pop-up drive-in theatre that’s nestled in the High Rockies of Colorado. It sits at 7,998 feet making it one of the highest, mobile drive-in theatres in the country. This drive-in only screens classic movies, such as Star Wars: A New Hope, Goonies, Back to the Future, The Shining and many more. The Holiday Twin Drive-In opened up to the public again on 1 May with social distancing rules in place. It is the last of its kind in Fort Collins situated near Horsetooth Reservoir offering stunning pre-movie views. See here for upcoming screenings.

Tru Vu Drive-In, Colorado
Tru Vu Drive-In, Colorado

Seattle’s Best Burgers for Take-out, Drive-Thru, and Delivery

‘Fine dining is not what Seattle needs right now. Instead, we’re bringing the food to you’, are the very words from the restaurant owner at Canlis. Canlis is an award-winning restaurant in Seattle that usually serves $135 four-course meals. Amid the pandemic, it closed its dining room and created a drive-thru in its parking lot to serve $14 burgers. From rabbit sausage with grilled liver to burgers and veggie melts, Canlis also offers bagels for breakfast from the Bagel Shed and delivers ‘home-cooked’ dinners and bottles of wine.

Canlis Drive Through Burgers
Canlis Drive Through Burgers

LeMay – America’s Car Museum launches summer movies in Tacoma, Washington