Guerrilla Drive-Ins


2005 to present

The drive-in theater has largely faded from our cultural landscape, with only hundreds remaining in the U.S., after a peak of 4,000 during the late 1950s and early ‘60s. Today independent groups across the country, such as Santa Cruz Guerrilla Drive-in in California and West Chester Guerrilla Drive-in in Pennsylvania, are reviving this classic pastime, motivated not only by nostalgia but by the urge to bring some life to dull outdoor spaces, such as deserted parking lots and non-descript warehouse districts. (New York’s Rooftop Film Festival similarly originated from a spontaneous act of neighbors craving outdoor entertainment.) The films are almost always free, with schedules and locations posted on websites, bringing neighbors together in a way that Netflix and iTunes cannot.

Community, Pleasure
1,500 approximately
Problem - banal landscapes and loss of shared cultural experiences
Solution - non-commercial public recreation