Croquet was introduced to the United States in the early 1870’s. The sport was first taken up by high society in the New York area, but it soon achieved general popularity throughout the country. Lawn tennis was introduced here at about the same time, but from the 1870’s through the 1890’s, croquet enthusiasts far outnumbered the tennis players. A croquet set was mandatory equipment for every estate, and civic leaders provided sets for public parks, which previously had not had facilities for any sport played on grass.
In 1893, the United States was introduced to a radical new form of dance. Although the public was initially shocked to see the sensual and titillating movement of the dancer, the Hoochie Coochie (or Hootchie Kootchie) belly dance caught on and became the precursor to the striptease type dances that would arrive generations later.
Always on the lookout for the next great new idea, Hollingshead noted that even though the Great Depression was in full swing, people still found money to attend movies at their local theater. He pondered the means to combine his auto parts business with movies and dreamt of opening a deluxe gas station and auto repair shop that featured a restaurant and movies for the customers to watch while they customers waited for their car repairs to be completed. His invention, the drive-in movie, exploded in popularity during the height of the 1950’s car culture.