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» Film-Tech Forum   » Community   » Film-Yak   » Roof Top Drive-In 1955 (Page 1)

 
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Author Topic: Roof Top Drive-In 1955
Martin McCaffery
Film God

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From: Montgomery, AL
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 - posted 08-27-2017 09:12 PM      Profile for Martin McCaffery   Author's Homepage   Email Martin McCaffery   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Anyone from Jersey know about this?
Motion Picture Herald
July, 2 1955
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Jeffry L. Johnson
Jedi Master Film Handler

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 - posted 08-28-2017 08:07 AM      Profile for Jeffry L. Johnson   Author's Homepage   Email Jeffry L. Johnson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Dover Drive-In - Cinema Treasures

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Martin McCaffery
Film God

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From: Montgomery, AL
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 - posted 08-28-2017 11:44 AM      Profile for Martin McCaffery   Author's Homepage   Email Martin McCaffery   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
It's a sick, sad world.

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Mitchell Dvoskin
Phenomenal Film Handler

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From: West Milford, NJ, USA
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 - posted 08-28-2017 12:41 PM      Profile for Mitchell Dvoskin   Email Mitchell Dvoskin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Yes, it really did happen.

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I believe, but not sure, there were other Drive-Ins around the country on the roof of shopping malls, including one in Columbus Ohio.

What was unique was the Fly In/Drive In in Wall Township NJ, with a small private airport so you could either watch the movies from your plane, or your car.

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Brad Miller
Administrator

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From: Plano, TX (36.2 miles NW of Rockwall)
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No teaser subject titles.
Please edit.

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Sam Graham
AKA: "The Evil Sam Graham". Wackiness ensues.

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From: Waukee, IA
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 - posted 08-30-2017 06:46 AM      Profile for Sam Graham   Author's Homepage   Email Sam Graham   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Mitchell Dvoskin
What was unique was the Fly In/Drive In in Wall Township NJ, with a small private airport so you could either watch the movies from your plane, or your car.
There was one of these in Iowa as well. The Roxy Fly-In and Drive-In, St Ansgar.

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Lyle Romer
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quote: Martin McCaffery
It's a sick, sad world.
While I can't disagree with your statement in general, what specifically about this topic elicited that response?

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Mark Lensenmayer
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quote: Mitchell Dvoskin
I believe, but not sure, there were other Drive-Ins around the country on the roof of shopping malls, including one in Columbus Ohio.
No drive-in's in Columbus on mall rooftops.

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Martin McCaffery
Film God

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quote: Lyle Romer
While I can't disagree with your statement in general, what specifically about this topic elicited that response?

Combining Drive-in's and shopping malls is like mixing peanut butter and ketchup. I'm sure it's a taste treat for somebody, but not my thing.
Besides, any opportunity to shout out to Daria...

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Adam Martin
I'm not even gonna point out the irony.

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From: Dallas, TX
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I've come across a number of fly-in theaters:
  • Mobile AL: Air-Sho Fly-In Theatre
  • Saint Ansgar IA: Roxy Fly-In and Drive-In Theatre
  • Belmar NJ: Ed Brown's Drive-In and Fly-In Theatre
  • Farmingdale NJ: Fly-In Drive-In Theatre (might be the same)
  • Spearman TX: Fly-In Theatre

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Frank Angel
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Reading one of the descriptions of the demise of the Dover rooftop DI, let me really surprised --you would think Walter Reade tech people would have done much better advance work on the site, BEFORE setting up a whole projection system, booth and screen AND opening for business. You would think they would have brought a transmitter rig out to the site to test out coverage and transmission patterns and strength, etc., which they certainly didn't if they what the poster said is correct, that they got this big surprise that their signal was not strong enough.

Then there's the 100ft screen, you KNOW from the get-go it was going to be under-lit unless they were running 70, which I am sure the description would have mentioned -- so 35mm on a 100ft screen, you know what a stretch that is right out of the gate, and then for Walter Reade techs, who know (or certainly SHOULD know) about screens and ambient light, to not have tested to see what the ambient light levels were on that roof BEFORE-hand, just seems too sloppy for words. It's only on opening night that someone notices that there's red neon lights blast the screen from surrounding businesses?

The thing that is sad about it is, with a properly designed system, you could easily make something like that work. The beauty being the DI then doesn't need to be relegated to only serving folks way out in the country -- there are PLENTY of roof tops in the big cities. Plus, the nice thing about the cities is, once you overcome the ambient light (how about a smaller screen, guys?...and high gain), there are much fewer bugs, which is nice for an outdoor venue.

Oh yah, ambient light is one thing, but can anyone say FCC? In the city you might have to deal with the pesky FCC kvetching about your FM signal a lot more than they might care about a rural DI miles from anyone -- I am guessing, the FCC will probably monitor that kind of thing a lot more in the city than they do way out on Bear Crick Road. Still, regulatory agencies are pretty much just shells now in this political climate, they might not bother DI transmitting at all as long as he's not stepping all over a dozen other stations.

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Jack Ondracek
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I'd take a wild stab and guess it was not FM. It wasn't until the late '50s that FM started to get a real toe-hold in the commercial market, and it's likely that non-broadcast gear was simply not available.

Much more likely to me that the sound system was a derivative of the "leaky coax" concept, and the "magic sound devices" were merely single-channel AM transistor sets.

I'd also guess the initial problems with signal levels were caused more by the introduction of up to 1000 cars worth of iron and steel, instead of the construction of the mall, which the techs did know about.

Good point about the picture though. The last 1000 car drive-in here was recently demolished and turned into a Lowes hardware store. Before they tore it down, my daughter and I walked the field. Even though the place had a 115 foot screen, I'd bet nobody in the back rows could possibly be watching the movie. The screen looked like a postage stamp from back there.

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Mitchell Dvoskin
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For Adam,

Farmingdale and Belmar border Wall Township here in New Jersey. I suspect all 3 actually refer to the same fly-in theatre.

For Mark,

> No drive-in's in Columbus on mall rooftops.

In the mid 1970's, I took a course that was held by NATO at Ohio State, on the motion picture theatre business. They took us on a field trip to the Three-C's Drive-in, in Columbus. Years later, I heard, but did not verify, that it was demolished to make way for a shopping mall with a drive-in on the roof. I guess the drive-in never happened.

Unrelated,

Low power FM for drive-in's was not authorized by the FCC until the late 1980's. Before that, only carrier current AM was legal, and there were regulations regarding how far off of your property the signal could go.

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Jack Ondracek
Film God

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From: Port Orchard, WA, USA
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quote: Mitchell Dvoskin
Low power FM for drive-in's was not authorized by the FCC until the late 1980's. Before that, only carrier current AM was legal, and there were regulations regarding how far off of your property the signal could go.
I've worked within the FCC regulatory environment, relative to AM and FM broadcasting, for over 45 years. In that time, I don't recall having ever seen reference in the rules, specific to drive-in theatres and FM. The carrier current, "leaky coax" and "Cine-Fi" brand concepts, commonly used until the late '70s or so, were only for AM radio, and were designed for "Part 15" compliance.

As for drive-ins and FM, the FCC's silence on the matter has led to a number of interesting assumptions over the years, mostly wrong, so if anyone here can put a finger on what rule actually deals with the subject, I'd very much like to know about it.

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Mitchell Dvoskin
Phenomenal Film Handler

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From: West Milford, NJ, USA
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It was my impression, not based upon any actual research, that there was/is no FCC regulations specifically dealing with Drive-ins. It was also my impression, that before the late 1980's, all unlicensed FM was illegal. Again, no actual research to back that up.

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