AN UNFORTUNATE SIDE EFFECT OF THE otherwise excellent accounts that film historians have given of the system of ‘runs, zones and clearances’ that characterised distribution and exhibition in the studio era is the impression of a rigid uniformity in release patterns. Similarly, accounts of more recent developments have tended to perpetuate the common assumption that practices characteristic of contemporary Hollywood – notably, wide or ‘saturation’ releasing, accompanied by intensive mass-media advertising – have been in existence only since the 1970s and were unknown in the ‘classical’ period. Neither is in fact the case. This chapter examines some of the earlier history of wide releasing, situated in the context of two other key developments in the postwar American film industry: the advent of the drive-in cinema as a major area of growth; and the resumption of the practice of ‘roadshowing’.