Drive-In

drive-inΒ© 2013 Michael Fiveson

Remember these? When I was a 13 I lived very close to a drive-in and since I didn’t drive, my friends and I would climb under the back fence and watch movies by the picnic tables at the concession stand. The first 15 times we got thrown out and then the management came up with a novel idea. They gave us cards that would allow us in for free, through the front gate. That way, they wouldn’t have to chase us, and we wouldn’t be breaking the law. It was really brilliant thinking for 1962, and I will always appreciate it.

50 thoughts on “Drive-In

      • Oop-my mistake (had been reading about Cherokee issues this am, Freudian slip that). I was just in BV Monday visiting family. Have had a love affair with this theater for a long, long time.

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      • And it is still open which just blows me away. So does $7 admission. They are now playing a sing along version of Grease. I’d sing along, after a jug of moonshine.

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      • Yup, I drove by on Friday night coming down from Cottonwood and Taylor and Grease was playing during the storm. Last week was Airplane.

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      • I love the movie Airplane. Grease, not so much. Beautiful part of Colorado here. My last visit was 25 years ago. My bad.

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      • BV is pretty fantastic. Not so sure about the South Main development down by the river, but overall the town is exactly what it was all these years.

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  1. What a great story. Sadly these never caught on in the UK. I think the weather issues was a biggy. πŸ˜‰
    When I visited the US for the first time, a visit to a drive-in movie was one of my ambitions, one that was realised on a warm summer’s evening in Wichita, Kansas. I saw Robocop (original) and Untouchables. Thanks for bringing back that memory Mike. I don’t remember the films too well but sitting in a picnic chair, eating hot dogs and drinking cold beer while watching a film, outdoors, is something I won’t forget.
    An all American experience for a young, wide-eyed Englishman who couldn’t get enough of this novel culture. One of many firsts that summer. πŸ™‚
    I heard that there weren’t so many drive-ins around anymore. Seems a shame.

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  2. Drive-ins are so fun. When you’re single it’s fun, and when you have kids it’s fun…load em all in the car with snacks and drinks for a cheap evening of entertainment. My son just found one nearby that is still in operation and showing current movies.

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  3. I grew up near an old drive-in also, but by the time I was old enough to be exploring around the neighborhod parent-free, it had gone under. We loved riding our bikes down and back up the ramp that led to the old projector house. A fun old memory to revisit, nice post and great image. My brother is older..he’ll appreciate this and will share with him.

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  4. We have two working drive-in movies very nearby They are ridiculously popular and you have to get there hours in advance if you want to get a decent space. They play a double header — TWO current feature films — and charge $10 for however many people you can stuff into your vehicle. People with vans make out big time. One of them has gone all the way into Retroville and it’s like returning to the 1950s. Surprisingly, the food is good and not overly expensive (that never happens). The main difference between “then” and “now” is that you have to use a radio to get the sound. No more boxes that hang off the window. Many people bring lawn chairs and sit outside to rather than watching in the car. Great if you’ve got kids. They go to sleep while the grown ups get to see the second feature. And it’s a bargain … if you don’t mind the long wait.

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    • Yeah that sounds like a good time. I wonder if there isn’t a business model for retro as what you describe is not only feel good, but endearing and wholesome too.
      When my wife and I were very young and just married, I had a van and we went to a drive-in and parked so we could watch out the back. The van was set up as kind of a hippie sleeper and after a bit some older teens hopped in and spent some time with us. What I’ll always remember is one of the girls saying the van was cool and asking us if ‘our parents” didn’t mind the set up. That may well have been my last connection to my youth. We still laugh about it, Judy and I, 42 years later.

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  5. Me and another pyro friend burned down the ticket booth. And me and yet another friend broke into the projector room and made off with a bunch of car-hop speakers (which were used to build our own stereo box speakers)…that is, after the place closed and sat there like an unburied corpse. What I appreciate is that I went to that drive-in and enjoyed some movies with my friends…and those friends and me, we were angry that it closed. But to be honest, our boxed stereo speakers sucked like drive-in theatre speakers.

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    • Hi Laurie. People of a certain age have memories of drive-ins, especially those who took dates there. Included in that list of rascals would be yours truly πŸ˜‰

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  6. We have a drive-in close to us and I even get to go occasionally! It’s always a fun time – laying out on the blanket, eating popcorn and watching the big screen. That one in your picture looks pretty lonely. I’m glad to hear that it comes alive at night. Thanks for sharing.

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  7. My last drive in experience was the Clint Eastwood spaghetti Western triple feature – Fistful of Dollars, A Few Dollars More, and The Good, The Bad & The Ugly. Started at 8:45 pm, didn’t end until 2:00 am. The soda and popcorn ran out before halfway through the first movie.

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    • That’s a helluva triple header. I watch Josey Wales, or part of it, every freaking time it’s on which so far is well in excess of 1000. I don’t want to watch it, I have no choice, like someone who has been brainwashed. ‘dying ain’t much of a living’, ‘well out this way we have something called the Missouri boat ride’, etc, etc.

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  8. My grandparents were buried in a cemetery on a gentle hill across the road from a drive-in theater. We joked that we’d have to get the screen turned around so they could spend eternity watching movies. Of course, now it’s just condos.

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