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Title: My Search for Passion Pits with Pix: Cinema History and 1950s Drive-In Audiences
Authors: Barefoot, Guy
First Published: 31-May-2019
Publisher: University of Wales
Citation: Participations: journal of audience and reception studies, 2019, 16 (1), In Press
Abstract: The American drive-in cinema has often been known as a ‘passion pit’ or a ‘passion pit with pix’ and been associated with dating or delinquent teenagers. The label was frequently invoked in the 1950s, but often by those who insisted that drive-ins were well-policed spaces appealing to family audiences both as a film-viewing venue and for its accompanying attractions. This view was largely supported by surveys such as those undertaken by Rodney Luther in 1949 and 1950. The drive-in has also been seen as an inclusive space, appealing to those who felt excluded from indoor cinemas. In examining these differences, this study traces the ‘passion pit’ label back to its teenage slang roots and examines the different ways the label has been used and understood. It draws on diverse forms of evidence, from trade press reports to legal records, establishing the heterogeneity of the drive-in cinema, the drive-in audience and how that audience behaved, while also raising questions about the limits of this evidence.
ISSN: 1749-8716
Links: TBA
Embargo on file until: 1-Jan-10000
Version: Post-print
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Copyright © 2019, University of Wales. Deposited with reference to the publisher’s open access archiving policy. (
Description: The file associated with this record is under embargo until publication, in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy. The full text may be available through the publisher links provided above. Publisher version may be used.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of History of Art and Film

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