Nearly 80 years ago, they were the future. Or, as The Milwaukee Journal reported on Dec. 6, 1939, “a new way to see the movies — driving right in and watching the show from your car.”
Milwaukee — and the state — got its first drive-in seven years after the first outdoor movie theater opened in Camden, N.J., in 1933.
In December 1939, a group disclosed plans for a drive-in theater on the site of a former dog track on the south side of Blue Mound Road, west of Moorland Road in what was then the Town of Brookfield. The Journal reported on Feb. 9, 1940, that the drive-in would have room for 700 cars (later reduced to 500), speakers for each car and a 50-by-60-foot screen — which the developers called the “world’s largest.”
The giant screen would have its back to Blue Mound Road, with the venue’s name on it in big letters: “Drive-In Theatre.” (Read the rest of the story.)