Ever since the Grand National Bank of St. Louis, Missouri opened the first drive-up window teller (deposits only!) way back in 1930, drive-thrus have become a symbol of modern American convenience.
But the drive-thru business has expanded far, rising gas prices have not put a damper on the convenience of the drive-thru; from an auto-friendly art gallery to a chapel for drivers, you may never need to leave your car again.
The drive-thru window at the Climax Gentlemen's Club offers the novelty of a drive-thru with the I'll-do-it-in-my-car convenience of a drive-thru McDonald's. A special gravel driveway leads to a cinder block carport at the back of the building, where patrons can watch the indoor activity from their vehicles, through a diamond-shaped window. A ‘pay here' booth takes credit cards and displays an autographed photo of Fred ‘The Honzman' Honsberger, a right-wing radio talk show host on Pittsburgh's KDKA. Current rates are $20 a minute for two or more people; $10 a minute for solo customers. If there's someone in front of you, you just have to wait in your car.
Some people are far too busy to slow down, even for a funeral. Adams Funeral Home in California caters to this type of individual by laying dearly-departed loved ones to rest in a glass-enclosed chamber inside a drive-thru. Completely redefines what it means to "pay your respects," huh?
In 2009, Stanford Hospital & Clinics in California tested a drive-thru emergency room as a way to treat highly contagious patients, such as those suffering from swine flu or a bioterrorism attack. Amazingly, the study found that doctors were able to reduce exam time by more than an hour. See? Drive-thrus aren't just quick; they can keep you healthy too.
Wedding chapels with drive-thrus are nothing new in Las Vegas, but A Little White Wedding Chapel does it best. For only $179, couples get a wedding ceremony, a DVD, a dozen professional photographs, a long-stemmed rose, keepsakes, and a courtesy limo. And, best of all, the newlyweds get to drive through the chapel's Tunnel of Love, a raised structure with a ceiling decked out in cherubs. Classy! An Elvis impersonator, of course, is extra.
A tattoo may be forever but ain’t nobody got time for that. Good thing there’s Outlaw Tattoo, your Route 66 headquarters for while-u-wait permanent body illustration. At least there was – the Tucumcari, New Mexico landmark appears to have been driven out of business, possibly by dissatisfied customers who own rough-idling vehicles. Kudos to Todd Longwood of A Love Of Two Brains for exposing this dist-inked drive-thru concept.
In 2010, personal injury and malpractice specialists The Kocian Law Group opened up a new office in a former Kenny Rogers Roasters -- and decided to keep the drive-thru window. A paralegal operates the window, hands out documents and answers questions.
The story came to us from Above the Law, where Elie Mystal had the following take:
We all knew it would come to this eventually...I'd tell law students to try to summer at Kocian. Even if they don't give you an offer, the drive-thru experience could prove invaluable during your next career.
For those who want to get married on a whim, it can't get much quicker than a drive-thru "I do."
Las Vegas' Tunnel of Love started offering drive-thru ceremonies when the owners wanted an option to accommodate handicapped couples.But Vegas isn't the only place for people who want to tie the knot in a mobile ceremony. With a marriage license, a witness and a little cash, Mother Earth Goddess in Florida and Lydon Chapel in Massachusetts also offer couples a matrimonial drive-thru service.
If Virginia is for lovers, then Vegas is for drivers. Those who haven’t gambled on a drive-thru wedding can still be good sports: the Fiesta Rancho Hotel & Casino now offers lead-footed bettors a better way to be fleeced via their innovative drive-thru sportsbook. “We get an extra rush because of those (day baseball) games with people going to work or taking the kids to school,” explains Mark Nelson, director of race & sports at the Fiesta. Wait, kids?? Yessirree Bob! “They make the kids stay outside the casino, but I can come through with them out here, states patron Mark Hearon. “Plus, my son gets candy.” Nice to know that even if Dad loses, his kids (and their dentist) still win.
In 2002, an evangelical church in California took over a photo booth and began offering drive-thru prayer. Anyone in need of communing with the Lord can stop at the booth while an on-duty pastor prays through a window. In addition to free prayer, the booth gives away Bibles and bottles of water. Amen to that!
To make voting even more simple than it is with an absentee ballot, there is a concept known as drive-thru voting.
The voting machines were engineered to meet disability requirements so voters can cast their ballots without leaving their vehicles.
The convenient concept has been adopted in several counties throughout California and Oregon.
At Pleasures, a *** toy shop in Huntsville, Al., customers can enjoy the convenience of three drive-through lanes for their brown bag purchases.
Under existing anti-obscenity law, Alabama still follows a ban against *** toys unless purchases are made for medical, scientific or educational purposes.
Pleasures' customers are required to fill out a medical questionnaire describing the health reasons behind their purchases.
In 2006 a program from the Contemporary Art Gallery in Vancouver allowed viewers to access art via a drive-thru window. Drivers could pull up to the kiosk and select from one of six short videos from Vancouver artist Brady Cranfield. Each piece from the series, called Day Tripper, was modeled after a hypothetical day in the life of a Vancouverite.
A politician in northeastern Pennsylvania, State Rep. Kevin Murphy, has a drive-thru in his office for his constituents to drop by and see him. The Democrat says he personally staffs the drive-through most Thursdays and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
This hasn't happened in America yet, but Las Vegas, take note: police chiefs in Switzerland are planning to build a series of drive-in "**x-boxes" -- an idea imported from Germany - to enable prostitutes to conduct their business without disturbing the neighborhood.
This Texas-based business offers the unlikely product pairing of both liquor and firearms via a drive-thru. It's anybody's guess whether DUIs and/or drive-by shootings have spiked in the area.
The Ottawa Public Library in Ontario opened a 24-hour drive-thru window in 2005, providing a quick way to drop off books. Just think! No more disapproving looks from librarians as you pay off overdue fees.