Back in the early sixties, my parents took me and my 5 siblings to something called a drive-in movie theater. In a my father’s pick up truck, we would load up the cooler of ice, drinks, sandwiches, and snacks packaged up by mom. Man we had blankets, pillows, and one or two sleeping bags. Dad would pull in backwards with the truck bed facing the big screen and connect the outdoor speaker to the back of the truck and we watched King Kong movies. Wow! What a treat.
From 1933 to the drive-in theater movie business was known for being family friendly. Click here to learn more about the history of Drive-In Movie Theaters.
In the background of this economic battle a cultural shift was taking place. People did want to spend $20 on popcorn and movie tickets to see Mary Poppin or the Wizard of Oz. The appetite for violence, blood, gore, and sexual content was growing and the demand was too great to accommodate this seasonal entertainment venue.
In the same generation where Diana Ross blasted “I’m coming Out” on the disco scene, in 1981, the first of its kind music television channel came out at cable’s MTV. Suddenly, music and movies were in the same business.
People wanted to know as much about their favorite music artist as they knew about their movie stars and other famous people. People demanded a safe and comfortable place to go to watch these new movies. There had been countless indoor movie theaters – they go back as far as silent movie theaters; maybe even farther. Before these were indoor movie theaters, they were theaters you could go to watch real and live movie stars act.
By the mid-1970’s the craze for more violence was like a drug addiction. First you start out with the light stuff and the next thing you know, you are into the hard core drugs. The same with the movies and music videos. The only difference was protecting copy-rights required regulation. It made it easy to create a franchise membership. Now you have a traceable system in place that enures everyone will get their share of the business. There was so much blood and gore in these modern movies that parents and family advocacy groups demanded cleaner more family friendly movies. Precedent setting First Amendment cases won in court forces lawmakers to regulate the movie and music industry with a ‘Rating System’.
If you don’t like what’s on TV, change the channel. Great, but parents could not change the channel for their unsuspecting innocent children. Parent controls became very popular and even more so today… There are commercials showing how parents are able to block their children from watching certain movies.
Major cable channels have categorized their movies themes, which I actually like. This is an opportunity to say thank you to them for doing so. Because some of these movies aren’t fit for me to watch and ought never been published. But this is not a blog for criticizing movies. We are discussing movies, the movie venues, and the changes made in movie entertainment since the movie entertain began.
What happened? What say you?