Reading Passage Two: The Rise and Fall of the Drive-in Theater. Please note that each paragraph is numbered.
1. The drive-in theater was born at the Camden, New Jersey, home of Richard Hollingshead. In 1932, Hollingshead developed his idea for an open-air movie theater by conducting experiments in his backyard. He mounted a projector atop his car, tacked a screen across a couple of trees, and used a radio behind the screen to monitor sound level. With this basic framework in place, Hollingshead moved on to more specific tests, exploring everything from the effects of different weather conditions to how vehicles could be spaced to obtain optimum sight lines. By the summer of 1933, Hollingshead had obtained a patent for his invention and opened the world’s first drive-in movie theater.
2. The drive-in concept spread slowly at first, but by the late 1950s over 4,000 drive-ins existed nationwide. Unlike indoor theaters, patrons could dress however they liked, and there were numerous seating options. Some people sat in their cars, others sat on their cars, while still others could be spotted relaxing on blankets or sitting in lawn chairs. For many, the drive-in’s most popular feature was the snack bar. All of the classic staples were present – hamburgers, hot dogs, French fries, soda, popcorn, pizza, candy, snow cones. Some theaters even delivered food directly to the cars.
3. Yet by 2007, the number of drive-ins in the United States had dwindled to no more than a few hundred theaters. A number of factors have been responsible, beginning with rising land values. Drive-ins built on the outskirts of cities quickly found themselves right in the middle of suburban developments. The owners faced increased insurance costs and competition from new multiplex theaters.
4. Although it is easy to dismiss drive-in theaters as a relic of the past, there is a substantial audience that yearns for their return. Several groups have even organized guerrilla drive-ins that are publicized over the Internet. Someone in the group finds a good location to project a movie, the place and time are announced on a Web site, and within hours hundreds of people show up for an instant drive-in experience. A visit to one of these gatherings makes it clear that, despite the disappearance of most open-air cinemas, the free spirit of the drive-in is alive and well.