Drive-ins began in the late 1930s, really hitting their peak in the 1950s and 60s. Of course, that's prime time for us Baby Boomers.
Our parents had young families and for the most part, it was much cheaper to pop your own popcorn, fill up the cooler with drinks, load up the kids (that would be us) and take off for a night at the Drive In showing 2 movies. My sister and I would sit in the back seat, but my brother, being 6 years younger than me, 3 years younger than my sister (the middle child and she has an opinion about that poor overlooked child) would lay in the rear window so he could see. That would be probably about 1958-1962ish.
We wanted to go play on the swings and slides way up front, under the big screen, but we were never allowed to do that. I don't think either of our parents wanted to go supervise. It could also have something to do with the fact, we were always in our pajams too. We were allowed, once in a while, to lay on the hood of the car, if we didn't get in their viewing way.
I was in high school from 1964 - 1968 and did my share of Drive-in dates. That's where I saw the Billy Jack movies and the Annette and Frankie Beach Party movies.
We still sometimes, popped our own popcorn to bring in but I think the dates would go inside to get drinks. I do know that on some of my double dates, my girlfriends wanted those giant pickles. I never could understand that. Give me the popcorn, thank you.
I know we did try those little mosquito coils you would light and sit on the dashboard to help keep the bugs away. I can say, I was never in a car that drove off with the speaker still attached. That happened lots, I'm sure.
I think Daylight Saving Time killed the Drive-ins. It's so late by the time it gets dark enough to see what's on the screen. I think there are still a few stragglers that are open, but they are the rare case. Now, in this economy, they would be a good treat for cash strapped families.... but, there is that Daylight Savings thing still.