Google's Homepage Doodle Goes to the Drive-In (video)

Google Doodle Image - H 2012

Google Doodle Image - H 2012

The search giant's home page pays tribute to the 79th birthday of the classic American institution.

Google unveiled a homepage doodle  honoring the birthday of the first drive-in theater. See the animated video below.

The doodle is an animated take on a classic drive-in circa 1960. Google Doodler Mike Dutton (yes that is an official title), who spent about one hundred hours creating the doodle said, "Even though we're celebrating the opening of this thing that dates back even further, we wanted to capture the essence of when it had become a very nostalgic Americana-type pastime thing."

Dutton urged viewers to pay close attention since the doodle works in the Google logo in sly ways. Plus, Google tried to capture the entirety of the drive-in experience.  If you listen to the doodle with headphones on, we actually worked with an audio house to really capture that ambient quality. You're hearing crickets, you're seeing stars, there's all this ambient noise, people walking on gravel."

The first drive-in theater opened on June 6, 1933, in Camden, New Jersey. Richard Hollingshead Jr., who experimented with various projection and sound techniques in the driveway of his house, using an old projector mounted on the hood of his car and a sheet hung between some trees as a screen, received the patent in May and opened the first theater a few weeks later. Drive-in theaters boomed after World War II but in recent years high real estate costs and changing consumer tastes have nearly killed this American institution.  Today there are just a few hundred drive-in theaters left.

The drive-in theater doodle runs all day June 6 in the United States and then like all the other doodles will be retired to for eternity.

will say, 'So, did you hear about those ratings?' Really calmly and cool and it's like, 'Yeah! We did!' That's it, there's no celebrating. We get that one day and then the next day, that may not happen. We go day by day and we feel grateful we have seasons to keep going and the fans keep us going."