It doesnt get any better than this....

Discussion in 'Life After Brown' started by soberups, Sep 11, 2011.

  1. soberups

    soberups Pees in the brown Koolaid

    ....a warm, late-summer evening at our local drive-in movie theater on "vintage night". Lots of Edsels, Camaros, '57 Chevys and other classic cars. And of course, the ultimate drive-in movie was playing...."American Grafitti". My wife and I attended in our "vintage" '76 Chevy beater pickup truck, because of course the best way to see a drive in movie is perched up in the back of a pickup in comfy reclining lawn chairs with lots of pillows and blankets and a cooler full of beverages (pop for me, wine for her). The theater we go to has been owned by the same family since it opened in the late 1940's and they have a huge collection of classic movie trailers and advertisements (like the dancing hot dogs) that play before and between the main attractions. There are less than 400 drive-in theaters left and we consider ourselves lucky to live within 2 miles of one of the best ones ever.
    drive in2.jpg
  2. soberups

    soberups Pees in the brown Koolaid

  3. faded jeans

    faded jeans just a member

    Nice way to spend an evening and who doesn't love the dancing hot dogs. Good Times!
    Thanks for that brief glimpse into the past. I'm surprised there are 400 remaining.
  4. menotyou

    menotyou bella amicizia

  5. menotyou

    menotyou bella amicizia

    She looks like she enjoys peep watching, instead of movie watchin'. :rofl:
  6. moreluck

    moreluck golden ticket member

    So, the Edsel cars.......are they too good to mix it up with other cars?
  7. soberups

    soberups Pees in the brown Koolaid

    No, they all showed up at the same time and they park together because lots of the drive in customers want to come and look at them and take pictures. A local vintage car club holds a "cruise-in" event every year on the 2nd weekend of September and part of that event is a trip to the drive-in. The drive-in supports the event by playing classic movies (American Graffiti, Grease, Planet of the Apes, Jaws etc.) from the 70's on that weekend. The vintage car club gets in line to the drive-in early so that they can all park together in the middle and have a picnic dinner while the other customers admire their cars in the early evening before the movies start. Its a fun can bring your dog with you, and the kids can throw Frisbees and footballs up in front beneath the screen before the movie. September is when my wife and I like to go because in June, July and early August the late sunsets mean that the movies cant start until almost 10:00 at night and we wind up falling asleep!
  8. soberups

    soberups Pees in the brown Koolaid

    They are truly an endangered species. The economics of running any theater, combined with the fact that drive-ins sit idle for up to half a year due to winter weather, means that owning one is a labor of love. In many cases, the land they sit on could be sold for the equivalent of 10 or 20 years of whatever profit they manage to generate.

    We are lucky because our drive in has been in the same family for several generations and the current owner is a fanatic. There is also a small indoor theater adjacent to it that generates enough revenue to keep him going in the winter when the drive-in is closed. The town I live in is also very protective of the drive-in. Way back in the day, the drive-in was way out on the edge of town but it is now surrounded by commercial and retail development. Any new buildings in the area are required to submit a plan to either minimize or shut off their outdoor lighting during the summer so that "light pollution" does not affect the theater, otherwise the City Council will deny the building permit. The theater has also been allowed to avoid being annexed into the city limits, since annexation would raise its property taxes beyond what it could hope to pay. Rumour has it that most of the members of the current City Council were probably conceived in the back seats of cars at the drive in, which would explain their fiercely protective attitude towards it.:happy-very:
  9. UpstateNYUPSer

    UpstateNYUPSer Very proud grandfather.

    When I was a kid our family had a station wagon with the third row of seating, which faced toward the rear. We all hated sitting there unless we were going to the drive-in. My Dad would park backwards so that whomever was in that seat could watch the movie--everyone else used lawn chairs or a blanket on the ground. The drive-in would charge $20 for a carload so we would fit as many as we could.

    The drive-in started showing porn and closed shortly after that.

    The closest drive-in to where I live is in Vermont.
  10. evilleace

    evilleace Member

    The one closest to me shut down a few years ago and is now a commercial development it was 6 miles away. I used to love going there as a kid, and still looked forward to it until it closed the food was great you had to wait 40 min for a hamburger. There is another one about 20 miles away but I have never been to that one.
  11. faded jeans

    faded jeans just a member

    Roger that!
  12. brett636

    brett636 Well-Known Member

    Sober- I too share your passion for drive in movie theaters. There is just no better way to enjoy a movie than outside in the back of a pickup truck or in your car. I was at the drive in during labor day weekend as the theater I go to has late night movies on Labor day, and I recall watching the movie and noticing streaks of light across the sky as a meteor shower was coming in. You just don't get that experience at an indoor theater. I am 29, but when I was a kid back in the early 90s we had 4 drive in movie theaters operating here. Over the years some either closed or the land was bought for another purpose and they closed one by one till today we have only one drive in left. The most recent closure was one I found particularly irritating as a local businessman by the name of Bill Simpson (started Simpson racing products) bought the land and had it rezoned promising all sorts of jobs at a new motorsports park he wanted to build on it. The drive in sat right across from the famed Indianapolis Raceway Park and was opened there in 1950. After Bill Simpson bought the land and tore down the screens, concession stand, and projector houses the land sat idle, and to this day is an empty field with a for sale sign on the property. What was eerie about that is my dad spoke to the operator of the drive in who leased the land and his exact words was what happened. That the drive in would be tore down and the land would not be used for it's supposed new purpose The last remaining drive in is located somewhat near the ghetto side of town and is surrounded by junk yards, but it is still thriving and actually has a really good concession stand. I go there as often as I can, and pretty much refuse to go to an indoor theater when it is open. If you have a drive in movie theater near you I suggest you go to it as someday it may not be there.