Tomorrow morning, at 7940 Richmond Highway, dozens of automobiles, their occupants filled with anticipation and excitement, will pour into the parking lot of the new Costco for their Grand Opening.
75 years ago (August 15), a similar event took place when hundreds of cars filed on to the very same location for the Grand Opening of the "E.M. Loew’s Mount Vernon Drive-In Theatre."
The Washington Post sent their reporter to the scene ("Films in Open Score Bulls-Eye at Mt. Vernon"). Nelson B. Bell noted the “new form of motion-picture presentation came to the outskirsts of Washington last night.”
A lot full of patrons watched “Bluebeard’s Eighth Wife,” starring Gary Cooper and Claudette Colbert. The screen, 40 by 60 feet, and 72 feet tall, flashed images that were “clear-cut and distinct, without distortion or flicker."
For those of you who think traffic jams like the one anticipated tomrrow are a modern day problem, please note this part of Bell’s report.
“It was estimated by the management that 500 and 700 cars were turned away between the hours of 7:30 p.m. and closing.”
Of course, lots of cars means lots of customers. Mr. Loew was said to be very pleased by the heavy volume...
Note: Visit Hybla Valley Airport website for an aerial photograph showing the theater.