Ignoring D-Day Isn’t The Only Reason Google Sparked Controversy With Its Drive-In Doodle

By: Chris Crum - July 2, 2012

About a month ago, Google ran a doodle on its homepage, celebrating the anniversary of the opening of the first drive-in theater. It even came with a special, playable video:

Google irked some people with the doodle for choosing the opening of the first drive-in, as opposed to the anniversary of D-Day, which fell on the same day, but many were delighted with the memories of American tradition the doodle conjured up.

Today, I was interested to see a piece of content come through my Google Alerts, that carried the title: “Google Killed A Part Of America’s Past.” It’s a short opinion piece from The Daily Nonpareil in Council Bluffs, Iowa. I’m not sure why it was coming through today, nearly a month after the fact, but it says:

As I accessed the Internet today for the first time (June 5), I was flabbergasted of what I saw on my homepage (google.com): A Google Doodle of Drive-Ins! When you click on the Google Doodle it provides some information provided by Google about drive-ins and how they were first started. But what they failed to mention is how they “destroy drive-ins and America’s past.” Being a Council Bluffs native, I have my share of memories growing up and going to the drive-in to see movies with my family on the weekends.

I wanted to bring this to the attention of local readers that our local “company” that took away a historic landmark dares to educate people about the past, when they indeed killed a huge part of it!

Google, as you may or may not be aware, has a data center in Council Bluffs, and the company did indeed bulldoze a drive-in, in order to set up shop. An InformationWeek article from 2008 confirms:

Some local landmarks are getting bulldozed to make room for Google. A drive-in movie screen was the first to go. The nearby Presbyterian Church is slated for demolition, too.

On its Council Bluffs Data Center page, Google says: Google is very happy to be located in Council Bluffs, IA. We announced our plans to build a data center here in early 2007, and today we are a fully operational site that has already begun benefitting our users around the world. We have had an excellent experience in Council Bluffs as we’ve built out this $600 million investment, and we look forward to being a part of the Iowa community for many years to come.”

According to CinemaTreasures.org, the drive-in was closed in late 2007, and was demolished. “At that time, the owners were hoping to build a new twin-screen drive-in theatre at another location,” it says.

VirtualTourist.com member Rich62, who uploaded the lead image to that site in 2006, captioned the photo:

THERE ARE STILL A FEW DRIVEIN MOVIE THEATERS AVAILABLE IN AMERICA, AND THIS IS ONE OF THEM.

Six years later, it appears that there are even less.

Chris Crum

About the Author

Chris CrumChris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.

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  • andres

    I dont care if google likes drive ins, this is webpronews not randomnews, more quality please!