Shankweiler’s Drive In Movie Theater – Worth the Drive
by Brian Coll
This past Saturday, we were wondering what we were going to do with our weekend and we kept coming back to the idea of going to a drive in movie theater. However…. the closest one we could find is called Shankweiler’s and it’s about 45 minutes away from Conshohocken. We did it. We grabbed some lawn chairs, set up the back of my truck with a some cushions, bought some snacks and took the ride.
It was $10 per adult, $6. per child, I think 2 and under are free…. we saw the Lion King and Toy Story 4 was the second of the two movies, but with two young children we bailed before Toy Story 4 could start. It was still worth it.
Here is the website, and you can see what movie’s they are playing and the showtimes. http://www.shankweilers.com/
Here is the history of the oldest drive in in America (taken from their website)
Richard Hollingshead opens New Jersey’s 1st Drive-in (remembered as the 1st Drive-in to open in America) in Camden, New Jersey, on Tuesday, June 6th, 1933.
Wilson Shankweiler opens Pennsylvania’s 1st Drive-in, which is only the 2nd Drive-in to open in America, in Orefield, Pennsylvania, on April 15th, 1934 (within 25 years, more than 4,000 will follow).
1948 Speaker poles and Car Speakers are installed at Shankweiler’s Drive-in.
1955 Hurricane Diane levels the projection booth and Shadow Box Screen. New CinemaScope Screen and Snack Bar / Projection Room / Restroom building built.
1982 AM radio micro-vicinity broadcasting is introduced at Shankweiler’s to deliver the movies’ soundtrack (although the traditional car speakers still remain).
1986 FM radio micro-vicinity broadcasting is introduced at Shankweiler’s (Shankweiler’s becomes the 1st Drive-in to feature audio in FM broadcast Stereo).
2002 The latest in cinema sound reproduction was achieved with the installation of Red L.E.D Spectral © recorded analog soundtrack readers and cinema sound processor, with decoding circuitry capable of providing surround sound effects, and a new and more powerful FM stereo transmitter. This new and technologically advanced system provides the customer with near digital quality sound which can be received and enjoyed on your car or portable radio.
2013 Digital projection and sound equipment installed.
So, if you are thinking about it, go for it. We went and had a great time. Of course I kept thinking back to the drive in at the intersection of Ridge, Colwell Lane, North Lane and how I would love to see another drive in movie theater built in our area.