Although the drive-in restaurant concept evolved earlier in the 20th century, it really came into its own in the 1950s with the post-war popularity of the automobile. These rather small, simply constructed buildings situated in the middle of a parking area basically function as a kitchen, with the restaurant “seating area” being the parking lot, where customers eat in their cars or maybe at a picnic table.
The drive-in usually has large windows on three sides and a walled-in rear section that contains the cooking area, refrigerator, and storage areas. The building is typically a box with a canopy extending out from the front and possibly the sides to shade customers who order from an exterior window. Sometimes the canopies are swooped and the exterior walls splayed out. Some drive-ins also contain an extension with stalls for cars to park and order via intercoms.
Click on image to view full-size image