Viewing Room Main Site
Skip to content
Melody Drive-in Theater, Springfield, Ohio, 1974

Melody Drive-in Theater, Springfield, Ohio

1974

gelatin silver print

11 x 14 inches

West End Drive-in Theater, Allentown, Pennsylvania, 1973

West End Drive-in Theater, Allentown, Pennsylvania

1973

vintage gelatin silver print

11 x 14 inches

Drive-in Theater, Highway 81, Waco, Texas, 1973

Drive-in Theater, Highway 81, Waco, Texas

1973

gelatin silver print

11 x 14 inches

69 Drive-in Theater, Checotah, Oklahoma, 1974

69 Drive-in Theater, Checotah, Oklahoma

1974

vintage gelatin silver print

11 x 14 inches

Super Skyway Drive-in Theater, Highway I-78, Allentown, Pennsylvania, 1973

Super Skyway Drive-in Theater, Highway I-78, Allentown, Pennsylvania

1973

gelatin silver print

11 x 14 inches

Drive-in Theater, Highway I-90, Chamberlain, South Dakota, 1973

Drive-in Theater, Highway I-90, Chamberlain, South Dakota

1973

gelatin silver print

11 x 14 inches

Drive-in Theater, Highway 80, Dallas, Texas, 1973

Drive-in Theater, Highway 80, Dallas, Texas

1973

gelatin silver print

11 x 14 inches

Van Nuys Drive-in Theater, CA, 1973

Van Nuys Drive-in Theater, CA

1973

vintage gelatin silver print

11 x 14 inches

Drive-in Theater, El Paso, Texas, 1973

Drive-in Theater, El Paso, Texas

1973

vintage gelatin silver print

11 x 14 inches

Drive-in Theater, Highway 1-10, Loma Linda, CA, 1974

Drive-in Theater, Highway 1-10, Loma Linda, CA

1974

gelatin silver print

11 x 14 inches

Drive-in Theater, San Fernando Valley, California, 1973

Drive-in Theater, San Fernando Valley, California

1973

vintage gelatin silver print

11 x 14 inches

Drive-in Theater, Highway 385, Dalhart, Texas, 1974

Drive-in Theater, Highway 385, Dalhart, Texas

1974

gelatin silver print

11 x 14 inches

Drive-in Theater, Los Angeles, CA, 1973

Drive-in Theater, Los Angeles, CA

1973

vintage gelatin silver print

11x 14 inches

Drive-in Theater, San Antonio, Texas, 1973

Drive-in Theater, San Antonio, Texas

1973

vintage gelatin silver print

11 x 14 inches

Cactus Drive-in Theater, Albuquerque, New Mexico, 1974

Cactus Drive-in Theater, Albuquerque, New Mexico

1974

gelatin silver print

11 x 14 inches

Drive-in Theater, Laredo, Texas, 1974

Drive-in Theater, Laredo, Texas

1974

gelatin silver print

11 x 14 inches

Drive-in Theater, Highway 89, Dallas, Texas, 1973

Drive-in Theater, Highway 89, Dallas, Texas

1973

gelatin silver print

11 x 14 inches

Dixie Cruise-in, near Franklin, Ohio, 1974

Dixie Cruise-in, near Franklin, Ohio

1974

vintage gelatin silver print

11 x 14 inches

Super Skyway Drive-in Theater, Highway I-78, Allentown, Pennsylvania, 1973

Super Skyway Drive-in Theater, Highway I-78, Allentown, Pennsylvania

1973

gelatin silver print

16 x 20 inches

Press Release

Joseph Bellows Gallery is pleased to announce its upcoming exhibition, Steve Fitch: Drive-In Theaters. The show will open on January 14th, and continue through March 4th in the gallery's Atrium exhibition space. An opening reception will be held on Saturday, January 28th, from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm and is the first solo exhibition of the photographer's work presented by the gallery. Drive-In Theaters will showcase a remarkable selection of vintage and modern gelatin silver prints representing the architecture of these distinctly American movie-viewing monuments.

For more than forty years, Steve Fitch has been photographing the American West revealing its changing vernacular landscape and vanishing roadside attractions. After graduating from the University of California at Berkeley in 1971 with a bachelor's degree in anthropology, and while teaching photography at the ASUC Studio on the Berkeley campus, Fitch began work on a project photographing the vernacular roadside of the American highway. He received two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships to aid in completing this project, one in 1973 and the second in 1975, and published the acclaimed monograph, Diesels, and Dinosaurs (1976). His serial photographs of the Drive-Ins, seen together, shape an intriguing typology of a disappearing architectural form. These cinematic landmarks are now mostly artifacts of a shifting cultural landscape; they are, however, perfectly preserved in Fitch's extraordinary photographs, which mostly picture their subject under the fluorescent glow of the Drive-In's signage.

Fitch received his master's degree in fine arts from the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque in 1978. After graduating, He accepted a teaching position at the University of Colorado in Boulder. In 1981, as a member of the "Marks and Measures" project, he began photographing prehistoric Native American pictograph and petroglyph sites in the American West, funded by the last National Endowment for the Arts Survey Grant in 1981. His work on the project, along with that of the other four project members, was published in a monograph, Marks in Place: Contemporary Responses to Rock Art, by the University of New Mexico Press in 1988. 

In 1990, after teaching at Princeton University for four years in the Visual Arts Program, Fitch returned to New Mexico and began photographing the ongoing abandonment of the High Great Plains, receiving the Eliot Porter Fellowship from the New Mexico Council for Photography in 1999 to aid in the completion of this project. In 2003, a book of these photographs entitled Gone: Photographs of Abandonment on the High Plains, published by the University of New Mexico Press and the University of New Mexico Art Museum, was organized into a traveling exhibition. Fitch's work is in the collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Museum of Modern Art, New York; J. Paul Getty Museum; Amon Carter Museum, Center for Creative Photography, California Museum of Photography, among others. 

Monographs on Steve Fitch's work include Diesels and Dinosaurs (Long Run Press, 1976), Gone: Photographs of Abandonment on the High Plains (University of New Mexico Press, 2002), Motel Signs (Nazraeli Press, 2018), American Motels Signs (The Velvet Cell, 2016), Vanishing Vernacular: Western Landmarks (George F. Thompson, 2018), American Motels Signs II (The Velvet Cell, 2020).

To request high-resolution press images or further information, please get in touch with the gallery at info@josephbellows.com