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Revisit abandoned drive-in theaters that haunt America's roadsides

Image: Florida State Archives/Dodd

The first drive-in theater invited folks to pull on up to enjoy the film in 1933. What Park-In Theaters off Crescent Boulevard in Camden, New Jersey, started sparked a nationwide craze that saw drive-ins pop up all over America, particularly through the '50s and '60s.

Although kids these days seem to prefer to stream movies from a screen that fits in their palms, back then, it was a time when movie screens towered over couples and families cuddled in their cars, enjoying the night's feature crammed all together.

As drive-in theaters across the U.S. have slowly shut down over time, it's left behind empty fields and abandoned screens that litter roadsides in towns everywhere. Scenes like that are what enticed photographer Craig Deman to take a trip down memory lane to revisit these old sites and document what he found in place of all those old drive-ins.

Deman started off in his home state of California, he told CNN Travel, but soon his fascination with old drive-ins took him further and further, through Colorado, Nevada, Tennessee, and more. The result is part of a series Deman calls "Endangered Icons," and it's mesmerizing for anyone who ever pulled their car into an open field to take in the night's picture show.

See the full gallery of abandoned drive-in theaters here.

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