Drive-in? What is that?

So I know that a lot of people have been to a Drive-in movie before, but for you kids that are in your twenties, let me splain.

Way back in the day, before we all had computers in our homes and, this may shock you, BEFORE THE INTERNET!; yes things existed before there was this wonderful series of tubes, there was this place where families and couples and groups of friends would go to watch a movie together in the artificial privacy of their automobiles.  Sounds crazy right?  Well it wasn’t but it was fun and I remember going when I was little with my family and having a wonderful time.

Recently my BF found a local Drive-in not too far from our home and suggested we go.  Now I haven’t been to a Drive-in in quite some time.  I am pretty sure the last one I went to was in High School with a bunch of friends and if I am remembering correctly it took us a long while to get there and back.  Needless to say I was excited.  We decided to go on a Saturday night and see the Screen Two offering of Snow White and the Huntsman/Battleship duo.  Kids, that is another thing about Drive-ins that was awesome.  You would pay for one ticket and see TWO shows.  (Of course that was depending on the management of the theater.)

The website for the Drive-in said to arrive about an hour before dusk, in order to get a good spot and to get your food items from the concession stand before the movies started so we headed out at 7:00 PM to arrive at the lot by 7:30.  When we pulled up there was already a pretty good crowd parked and a nice size line down the street waiting to pay so we were very glad we arrived when we did.  We paid, found a nice little spot in the back row and went to check out the concession line.  The line for food and drinks was HUGE!  Luckily we had brought some cash with us and found the smaller, cash-only, limited item food truck would satisfy our popcorn and Raisinet needs.  The prices were very reasonable, compared to movie theater prices, and the portions were more than ample.

We went back to the car and began to play the waiting game as we still had about half and hour before the movies would begin.  It was then that we began to take in our surroundings. 

Now we own a Prius because we have no need for a larger vehicle at this time and it gets us wonderful gas mileage.  After we had parked and gotten our snacks we realized that our little car was engulfed by dually trucks, SUV’s and mini-vans.  Luckily we didn’t have one directly in front of us, but the people next to us who had chosen to arrive early, like us, and were already set up in front of their mini-van in their beach chairs had the unpleasant experience of having a giant truck pull right in front of them and refuse to move to the back row.  This would be the truck with the hand of someone holding a cigarette out the window.  As an ex-smoker, I was incensed that this person would be so thoughtless to others as to not only park right in front of someone and block their view, but then decide to share their second-hand smoke with everyone around them.  It was then that my BF reminded me we are in the south and that tobacco is just another vegetable here and I calmed down and rolled my window up.

It began to get darker and darker and the movie was going to start in a very few minutes.  Most of the lot was full and we still had our open pathway forward so we told the people next to us that if they would like to sit farther in front of us for a better view they should feel free, as long as they didn’t mind our engine kicking on every once in a while to recharge the battery.  They were thankful and moved slightly towards us.  Other cars were still arriving and driving past us slowly, which notched up the tension a bit.  We were certain that at the last-minute a huge truck would pull in right in front of us and completely obstruct our view.  Again, we got lucky and no one took that spot.

It was movie-time.  Back in the day you would have had a box sitting on a pole next to you that either had a speaker in it or on it that you could then clip to the inside of your window.  Now we just tuned our radios to the prescribed frequency and turned our own speakers up, which was awesome once the car next to us on the passenger side, with its doors wide open mind you, figured out that they were on the station set for the other screen and changed to our broadcast.

We had a good time even with the little issues that had popped up around us, like at the intermission for the other screen, which had been playing Madagascar.  As soon as that movie let out we were surrounded by screaming children sent to play while their parents used the restroom and got ready for another two hours stuck in a car with them.  We only stayed for Snow White because by the time it ended it was pretty late, 11:30 PM and we didn’t really want to watch Battleship badly enough to stick around till 1:00AM.  We left and discussed a return trip on another night and how we would arrive even earlier and park a few rows closer so that we wouldn’t be in truck and SUV land.  Next time we would bring our own snacks and drinks and pay the $6.00 food permit charge at the gate for that privilege and we might even wear our PJs and bring Emma so that we could stay for both show and not feel guilty.  All of these things would be done and we would return because you can not beat $7.50 per person to watch two new movies with someone you love in the artificial privacy of your own vehicle.  No sticky floors and no ones feet up on the seats were added bonuses as well.

I won’t go into all the history of the drive-in, but if you would like to know more or where you may be able to find a drive-in near you,  go to Drive-In Theater and check it out and if you would like to check out the website for the Drive-in we went to you can do so here.  I would highly suggest trying this at least once before they disappear altogether.


7 thoughts on “Drive-in? What is that?

  1. I’m older than you, and we had one of these in the town next door, and they showed DOUBLE features just like you mentioned, and I STILL haven’t been to one of these. I want to go even more now!!

  2. The one thing I miss about the drive-ins today is that they don’t produce real drive-in fare anymore. No Crown International or AIP films which either filled the double (or triple) bills or acted as the second features.

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