Google on June 6 posted on its search engine homepage an animated tribute to the 79th anniversary of the first drive-in movie theater.
The theater's founder, Richard Hollingshead, was issued a patent in 1933 for his concept of a theater that drivers could attend without having to ditch their cars. Within a few weeks, Hollingshead had opened his theater in Camden, New Jersey.
About.com describes the testing process Hollingshead carried out at his home, prior to setting up his new business:
He experimented in his own driveway at 212 Thomas Avenue, Camden, New Jersey. The inventor mounted a 1928 Kodak projector on the hood of his car, projected onto a screen he had nailed to trees in his backyard, and used a radio placed behind the screen for sound.
When the venue opened, Hollingshead's "screen" was a gigantic brick wall, in front of which the audience positioned their cars. Admission was only 25 cents per person, plus 25 cents per car.
According to Wired, the original venue's tagline was, "The whole family is welcome, regardless of how noisy the children are." Indeed, Google's video doodle, featuring a Hollingshead-inspired theater, shows all kinds of folks enjoying a detective-style film -- from a couple on a date to a family in a pickup truck.
The video also shows a concession stand selling candy and popping fresh popcorn. Speakers can be seen mounted next to the cars in front of the screen, though About.com notes that this wasn't actually a feature of the first drive-in, whose sound came from large speakers positioned next to the screen; in-car speakers came later.
Hollingshead's idea sparked an entertainment craze in America. "By 1958, there were more than 4,000 drive-ins," The New York Times reported in 2004. However, the craze eventually subsided as "television, land prices in the suburbs and, eventually, videos and multiplexes killed most of them," writes the Times.
Drive-ins.com, which maintains a database of the existing drive-ins lists only 469 functioning open-air theaters in the U.S., up slightly from the 417 that were operating when the Times reported in 2004.
Take a look at the video (above) to see Google's drive-in doodle. (Bonus points if you spot the Android robot cameo!) Then, flip through the gallery (below) to see some of our favorite Google Doodles of all time.
Google honored <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/31/jackie-robinson-google-doodle_n_2589665.html" target="_hplink">baseball legend and civil rights activist Jackie Robinson</a> on his 94th birthday on January 31st, 2013.
George Ferris and Valentine's Day
On February 14th, 2013, Google celebrated both <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/14/george-ferris_n_2685966.html" target="_hplink">Valentine's Day and George Ferris's 154th birthday</a> with this interactive doodle.
On February 6th, 2013, Google celebrated archeologist <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/06/mary-leakey_n_2630671.html" target="_hplink">Mary Leakey's 100th birthday</a>.
International Women's Day
Google celebrated International Women's Day 2013 with <a href="http://www.google.com/doodles/womens-day-2013" target="_hplink">this doodle by Betsy Bauer</a>.
Google celebrated astronomer <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/19/nicolaus-copernicus-google-doodle_n_2717419.html" target="_hplink">Copernicus's 540th birthday</a> on February 19th, 2013.
On January 18, 2012, Google joined Wikipedia, Reddit and thousands of other sites for a c<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/18/sopa-pipa-google-logo-doodle_n_1212187.html" target="_hplink">ontent blackout in protest of proposed Congressional legislation</a> calling for strict enforcement of U.S. copyright law online. The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) drew the ire of web users who feared these bills would lead to unchecked web censorship. As a result of the massive protest, key Congressmen who had previously supported the bills reversed their positions; SOPA and PIPA were tabled indefinitely.
Happy Holidays 2011
On Christmas Eve 2011, Google posted a holiday-themed doodle that serenaded visitors with "Jingle Bells".
Google celebrated Mark Twain's 176th birthday on November 30, 2011, with a panoramic scene inspired by Twain's literary masterpiece <em>The Adventures Of Tom Sawyer</em>.
The <a href="http://www.google.com/logos/logos98-3.html" target="_hplink">first-ever Google doodle</a> was a simple stick figure behind the second "O" in the logo on Aug. 30, 1998. It represented the founders' recent trip to the Burning Man festival.
One of the great and super nerdy Google doodles, this Jul 23, 2009 logo celebrates the annual Comic-Con conference.
Sir Isaac Newton
On March 1, 2010 Google honored the 366th birthday of Sir Isaac Newton with its first-ever animated Google Doodle.
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/31/happy-halloween-google-doodle-pumpkins-video_n_1066989.html" target="_hplink">Google wished</a> users "Happy Halloween" Oct. 31 with a new video doodle that shows a team of crafty Googlers carving six enormous pumpkins to spell out the search engine's name.
On November 7, 2011<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/07/marie-curie-google-doodle_n_1079560.html" target="_hplink"> Google celebrated</a> what would have been the 144th birthday of the mother of radioactivity, two-time Nobel Prize winning scientist Marie Curie.
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/09/how-to-play-guitar-on-google_n_873895.html" target="_hplink">Google introduced</a> a super cool doodle on June 9, 2011, an interactive electric guitar to honor the 96th birthday of legendary musician and guitar innovator Les Paul. The Google guitar could play 10 notes from users' computer screen.
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/24/muppets-google-doodle-jim-henson_n_979011.html#s371509&title=Jim_Henson_Google" target="_hplink">On Sept. 24, 2011</a> Google's homepage featured a medley of Muppets, honoring the 75th anniversary of the birthday of late Muppets creator Jim Henson. On the interactive logo users could play "puppeteer" by clicking on the colored circles beneath each of the characters, which opened their mouths, and the Muppets followed the cursor with their eyes when you moved your mouse. One of the characters would throw his glasses into the air, and another actually ate a fellow Muppet.
This Google Doodle went live for some on September 4, paying tribute to Queen frontman Freddie Mercury, who would have celebrated his 65th birthday on September 5.
Google's Oct. 12, 2011 doodle illustration featured a brightly colored interactive tribute to artist Arthur "Art" Clokey, who would have turned 90 on October 12. In place of the company's logo, red, yellow, blue and green balls of clay bounced around and sprang to life at the click of a mouse, in an homage to Gumby, Clokey's best known animated character.
In honor of Pacman's 30th anniversary on May 21, 2010, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/05/25/google-pacman-doodle-devo_n_588605.html" target="_hplink">Google gave its logo</a> over to the iconic arcade game with the first ever playable Google Doodle. The logo had 255 levels.
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/05/11/martha-graham-dance-google-logo_n_860402.html" target="_hplink">Google celebrated</a> the 117th birthday of dancer Martha Graham -- known throughout the 20th Century as a pioneer of contemporary dance -- with an amazing animated doodle on July 11, 2011.
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/05/09/roger-hargreaves-google-logo-little-men-little-miss_n_859264.html#s276080&title=Little_Miss_Sunshine" target="_hplink">Google celebrated</a> what would have been the 76th birthday of Roger Hargreaves, creator of the "Little Men" and "Little Miss" series, on May 9, 2011. Google featured a colorful cycle of doodles depicting several of Hargreaves' animated characters, including Little Miss Sunshine, Mr. Tickle and Mr. Messy.
Google's 13th Anniversary
Google celebrated its 13th anniversary on September 27, 2011, with a simple, birthday-themed doodle and a scrapbook-style doodle featuring the company's logo letters dressed in a birthday hats and sitting around presents and a birthday cake. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/27/googles-13th-birthday-doodle-logo_n_982798.html" target="_hplink">Check out more photos here</a>.
On Mother's Day May 8th, Google tipped its hat to moms everywhere with a spring-themed logo with a purple flower in place of the "L."
Google celebrated the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton on April 29, 2011 with a Google doodle depicting a festively illustrated panorama of Westminster Abbey, where the royal knot was tied.
On April 22, Earth Day's 41st birthday, Google celebrated the occasion with a colorful animated doodle. Running your mouse over the illustration's playful animal characters brought the scene to life.
On April 16, 2011 <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/04/15/charlie-chaplin-google-doodle-_n_849587.html" target="_hplink">Google celebrated</a> what would have been the 122nd birthday of one of film's greatest stars, Charlie Chaplin, with a black and white video doodle.
On 12 April 1961, Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first human to enter outer space. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/04/12/google-doodle-yuri-gagarin-first-man-in-space_n_847914.html" target="_hplink">Google's commemorative logo</a> was dedicated to Gagarin's flight into space.
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/10/08/john-lennon-s-birthday_n_756064.html" target="_hplink">Google celebrated</a> what would have been John Lennon's 70th birthday on On Oct. 9, 2010 with the first-ever Google Doodle video. The video played a hand-drawn animated version of Lennon's song "Imagine."