Thursday, October 25, 2012

Drive in Flea Market's Entertain Shoppers







Photo: Charles Barksdale, File/San Antonio Express News 


My first memory of a drive in flea market was in Erie, Pennsylvania at the Pennisula Drive In in the seventies. There were many sellers lined up under the giant movie screens selling their odds and ends from the trunk of their cars. Some would set up tables and others would just lay blankets down and spread their goods out.
 As a child, I loved going up and down the aisles surveying all the unique items for sale. Old toys, clothing, books, records, appliances, you name it and it was most likely there ready to be sold at a great price. I recall being surprised at the negotiating process. I didn't know that you could talk the price down and haggle for the best deal.
 I guess you could say this was beginning of my love of anything old, used, the joy of the treasure hunt and excitement of finding a great bargain.
 Drive in flea markets are said to have started sometime around the 1960's and 1970's. During this time there was a decline in movie goers and owners got creative in finding ways to bring in crowds and increase revenue. Most drive in flea markets were free to shoppers, while the vendors paid a set price for their spot.
 One of the largest drive in flea markets in the world is The Fort Lauderdale Swap Shop. It began the flea market in 1966 and in return helped boost the expansion of the drive in theater. Today, it boasts, not only being the largest flea market, but also operates its very own big top circus that performs 6 days a week.
 There are still numerous drive in flea markets scattered across the United States today.
I believe this is the most nostalgic way to thrift shop. Where else can you soak up the sun, get some kettle corn, a hot dog or a milkshake while you shop and then stick around until dark and enjoy a classic drive in show?

Rachel Davies Google+ October 26, 2012

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Author: Rachel Davies

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