Drive-in Movies

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Tonight I passed an empty lot where my childhood drive-in theater used to be….I am visiting my old home town and the whole experience brought back lots of great memories.

The drive-in theater was the creation of Camden, New Jersey, chemical company magnate Richard Holiingshead Jr. whose family owned and operated the R.M. Hollingshead Corporation chemical plant in Camden.

In 1932, Hollingshead conducted outdoor theater tests in his driveway at 212 Thomas Avenue in Riverton. After nailing a screen to trees in his backyard, he set a 1928 Kodak Projector on the hood of his car and put a radio behind the screen, testing different sound levels with his car windows down and up. Blocks under vehicles in the driveway enabled him to determine the size and spacing of ramps so all automobiles could have a clear view of the screen.

Following these experiments, he applied August 6, 1932, for a patent of his invention, and he was given U.S. Patent 1,909,537 on May 16, 1933. That patent was declared invalid 17 years later by the Delaware District Court.

Hollingshead’s drive-in opened in New Jersey June 6, 1933, on Admiral Wilson Boulevard. He advertised his drive-in theater with the slogan, “The whole family is welcome, regardless of how noisy the children are.” The facility only operated three years, but during that time the concept caught on in other states.

Early drive-in theaters had to deal with noise pollution issues. The original Hollingshead drive-in had speakers installed on the tower itself which caused a sound delay affecting patrons at the rear of the drive-in’s field. Attempts at outdoor speakers next to the vehicle did not produce satisfactory results.

In 1941, RCA introduced in-car speakers with individual volume controls which solved the noise pollution issue and provided satisfactory sound to drive-in patrons.

The drive-in’s peak popularity came in the late 1950s and early 1960s, particularly in rural areas, with some 4,000 drive-ins spreading across the United States. Among its advantages was the fact that a family with a baby could take care of their child while watching a movie, while teenagers with access to autos found drive-ins ideal for dates…some of my best dates of all time were at the drive-in…I won’t mention any names but you know who you are.

During their height, some drive-ins used attention-grabbing gimmicks to boost attendance. They ranged from small airplane runways, unusual attractions such as a small petting zoo or cage of monkeys, actors to open their movies, or musical groups to play before the show. Some drive-ins held religious services on Sunday morning and evening, or charged a flat price per car on slow nights like Wednesday. The price was a dollar per car during “buck” nights in the 1950s and 1960s.
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In the UK a pseudo-drive-in has been launched where the cars are provided by the theater. It’s sponsored by Volvo. The urban Starlite Drive-in is inside the Truman Brewery in hip East London where the urban population will get the chance to watch classic films in a fleet of convertibles served by roller-skating waitresses.

Love it…maybe it will catch on…

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Uniqlo’s U.K. Twitter Campaign

Every Time Someone Tweets About an Item, Company Drops the Price, Boosting Web Presence and Brand Recognition
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Japanese clothes retailer Uniqlo has found a novel way of encouraging U.K. shoppers give the brand a big presence on Twitter — by reducing the price of clothing pieces every time someone sends a tweet about an item.
Uniqlo’s Lucky Counter

The “Lucky Counter” promotion has been running ahead of the relaunch of Uniqlo’s U.K. e-commerce site this week, and has seen the brand’s name appear in Twitter’s trending topics list for the country.

In a web page dedicated to “Lucky Counter,” users can choose from 10 pieces they would like to see discounted on the website when it relaunches on September 9.
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Clicking on one of the pieces of clothing brings up a pre-written tweet using the hashtag #luckycounter. Users can add their own message and then send it, and watch the price fall.

The more tweets users send about a particular item, the lower the price goes. At the time of writing, one of the items — a gray, crew-neck long-sleeve T-shirt — had hit its target price of nearly 60% off, meaning it will go on sale on Thursday at $4.60 instead of $10.70.

Uniqlo worked with Hiroki Nakamura, web director of its global advertising agency, Dentsu Japan, to create the campaign. The U.K. is the first market that Uniqlo, which also has stores in the US, France and throughout Asia, has tried the approach.
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The company has relied solely on users to spread the word on Facebook and Twitter, rather than paying for promotional tweets, as well as trailing the promotion heavily on its website, which was otherwise closed for business.

The tweets being sent are largely a mixture of people taking part in the promotion and those who are telling their followers about Uniqlo’s unusual social-media experiment.

Amy Howarth, head of marketing at Uniqlo in the U.K., said: “The initial aim was to maintain contact with the customer while the website was temporarily closed for its e-commerce migration.

“The campaign has been really successful and we’ve been delighted with the response to date. Customers seem to really want to engage with us, and it’s great as the campaign is so transparent and immediately dynamic, so they can see their tweets actually making a difference.”

After the new site goes live, Uniqlo will promote it with an online pinball game called “Lucky Machine,” offering a cash prize and discount codes.

Uniqlo has frequently used Twitter in its marketing campaigns. This year’s efforts have included U-tweet, which delivered users a personalized video based on tweets that they had sent to promote the UT T-shirt line; and Sportweet, which also drew on users’ tweets combined with footage of athletes to promote Uniqlo’s sportswear.

Pink Lights Scare Teens in the UK?

Wow did everyone see this story? I see that pink is used in a prison in Arizona to keep inmates in line but this is amazing. Pink lights have been installed on a housing estate in a bid to deter gathering teenagers by highlighting their acne spots.
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Layton Burroughs Residents’ Association, in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, made the move in the hope of cutting anti-social behaviour.

David Brown, an independent councillor for the area, said the lights, which show up skin blemishes, had been put up in a subway where youths regularly met. These are the same lights that dermatologists use in their offices to work on teens’ complexions.

“I totally agree with it and it seems a good idea,” he said. “I know that high-pitched sounds have been tried before but didn’t work. “It’s the first time I’ve heard of it and it will be interesting to see how effective this is.

“It’s effectively embarrassing them into moving on but they could just see it as a big joke and turn up with balaclavas.”
Peta Halls, development officer for the National Youth Agency, said: “Anything that aims to embarrass people out of an area is not on.

“The pink lights are indiscriminate in that they will impact on all young people and older people who do not, perhaps, have perfect skin.

“Why waste limited resources on something which moves all young people out of an area? They will move on to somewhere else.

“They have a right to congregate, it’s part of being a teenager and most young people are good, law-abiding people.”

The lights have been installed in three underpasses on the estate.