Occasionally, humankind comes up with an idea so perfect that it defies adequate praise. Combining macaroni and cheese is one. The television remote is another (when I was a kid, when we wanted to change the channel, we had to get up and WALK to the TV—uphill, both ways!).
But if you ask me, perhaps the greatest invention in the history of the world (all right, maybe besides penicillin and the polio vaccine) is the drive-in movie theater—the place that combines America’s dual love of movies and automobiles, all taking place under the stars on a beautiful summer night.
This Saturday is National Drive-in Day, when the entire country pauses (or should pause, at least!) to observe the opening of the first drive-in theater in Camden, New Jersey on June 6, 1933. Since that day, the drive-in has become a center of American lore, whether it involves families enjoying a movie al fresco, teenagers trying to sneak buddies into the theater in the trunk, or lovers pitching woo in the darkness of the back row. (Do people even “pitch woo” anymore? What’s this country coming to?)