Google is celebrating the opening of the first drive-in theater with a new doodle on its homepage. When you click the play button, the show begins.
The doodle comes with some appropriate sound effects and video (including an Android dashboard figure, a monster movie and the intermission screen). The only thing missing is a couple making out, though a girl does put an arm around her boyfriend. It ends with a popcorn tub that says, “Google”.
Google has uploaded the video to YouTube if you want to just watch it here:
When you click the doodle, Google shows you “The history of the drive-in theater” as the top result. It’s an Inventors page on About.com, which gives us a lesson on this classic form of entertainment:
Richard Hollingshead was a young sales manager at his dad’s Whiz Auto Products, who had a hankering to invent something that combined his two interests: cars and movies.
Richard Hollingshead’s vision was an open-air movie theater where moviegoers could watch from their own cars. 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.
According to this account of the drive-in theater’s history, the drive-in opened on Tuesday June 6, 1933 on Crescent Boulevard, Camden, New Jersey, and it cost 25 cents for the car and 25 cents per person to get in.
Update: Google is now showing a Wikipedia result over the About.com result. This result says: “Hollingshead’s drive-in opened in New Jersey, June 6, 1933, on Admiral Wilson Boulevard at the Airport Circle in Pennsauken, a short distance from Cooper River Park.” It cites The New York Times as the source of this info.
As Barry Schwartz at Search Engine Roundtable points out, some people are complaining that Google chose to go with this doodle instead of a D Day Google, as today is also the anniversary of that.
Google is also plugging IPv6 (the next version of the Internet) from the homepage. Google released the following video about it this week: