June 6, 1933
Auto parts inventor Richard Hollingshead opens the world's first drive-in theatre in Camden, New Jersey after testing his theory with a small military projector and bedsheet in his driveway. He would attain a patent, and spend years attempting unsuccesfully to enforce it.
Legend has it that Bill Williams won the 10 acres that the drive-in sits on in a poker game (we'll never try to prove it wasn't)! The drive-in closed a couple days later as the land was so marshy that dozens upon dozens of cars got stuck opening weekend. Tens of thousands of tons of gravel were trucked in and the "Showplace of the Golden Triangle" was back in business. Numerous generations of Williams' owned and operated the drive-in for decades, thrilling many generations of locals and cottagers alike. The screen eventually went dark after the 1997 season, but not for long...
Long-time employee and manager of the Premier (Soper) Theatre in Smiths Falls Jan Stepniak purchases the drive-in and re-opens for the 2000 season. The crowds return!
Our family purchases the drive-in and on a chilly night in May manage to get the film started on only the 2nd try to a chorus of car horns and the urge to head for the hills! We've renovated and renewed the theatre from top to bottom. After 5 years of film, we converted to state-of-the-art digital projection in the spring of 2012.