Thursday, April 2, 2009

LET'S GO TO THE DRIVE-IN MOVIES

Every spring when I was young brought the opening of the "Starlight Drive-In Theater" in our town. We could not wait for the weather to get warm enough so that mom and dad would load up the car with blankets, pillows, iced tea, popcorn, and all kinds of goodies to eat. My sister and I was allowed one trip to the concession stand during intermission to buy stuff. Mom even took our dinner in a picnic basket once in a while and we spread out a tablecloth on the hood of the car to eat before the movie.

Sis and I ran straight to the playground as soon as we arrived to swing and play until the cartoons and previews started.

My dad used to love Tarzan movies and I think I saw them all.

I distinctly remember a very scary movie at the drive-in and my sister and I scared to death in the back seat of dads old car. Some man got the wrong car and jumped in the back seat with us.
We jumped towards each other and almost knocked ourselves out when we bumped our heads together.

Once I got older and started dating, we would get as many in one car as possible and take off to the drive-in. I remember one time when a boy I was dating went to the concession stand during intermission and we moved the car while he was gone to the other side of the movie lot. It was hilarious watching him wander around trying to find the car. I don't remember trying to sneak anyone into the movie in the trunk of the car though.

Remember how those old speakers would squawk and have static and sometimes even go out right in the middle of the movie. Then, you would have to drive around and find another space with a good speaker. Sometimes, people even drove off with the speaker hanging on their window.

My daughters have never been to a drive-in theater! Most of them had closed by the time they were old enough to go. We used to take my son when he was a little guy and he would watch the cartoons and then go to sleep when the movie started.

I read somewhere recently that the drive-in was making a comeback in some places.

I am sure we all have some very special memories of those warm, summer nights spent with friends, family or a special guy at our favorite drive-in.

33 comments:

WELCOME TO MY WORLD OF POETRY: said...

Judy how I enjoyed reading about your youth and drive in movies. we don'thave them here. I love this time of the year when everywhere is waking up after the winter.
People seem to smile more to one another . Well done I did so enjoy your write.

Yvonne

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Judy, we used to do the exact same thing. Our drive-in had some benches up front with some extra speakers --so we'd sit up there sometimes.

It was much more fun when we were dating. My boyfriend and I didn't always see all of the movie --if you get my drift!!!! ha ha... BUT--most of the time, we went in groups.

Such great memories.
Hugs,
Betsy

Grannyann said...

Oh wow, good time memories!!!! We still have one standing but the parking area is long overgrown and the speakers long gone. There is some town in the state that has reopened, can't remember which one and heard somewhere else there is one or two open. Those were such fun times, especially with a boy friend. People today don't know what they are missing do they?

Pepper said...

We have a Starlight drive-in about 15 miles from my house on Morland Ave in Atlanta GA. As far as I know it is the last remaining drive-in in the state. It has been there ever since I was very young boy and I am 53 now.

http://www.starlightdrivein.com/

They have really spiced it up a notch. They have a flea market every weekend and concerts during the summer. They even have nights that you can campout for the night watching old movies. Great for familes and kids love it.

The Retired One said...

I remember those very well, too. But, where ours was, there were a lot of mosquitos, so you spent your night swatting them away as you watched your movie! ha
It was great times, tho. And once we did sneak 4 girlfriends in the trunk!

Beth said...

I love this post, Judy. What great stories about your drive-in memories! I love the one about you and your sister and the fellow who accidentally climbed in with you---so funny! I never got to go to drive-ins when I was young (my Baptist preacher daddy wouldn't let us go to movies), but my husband Tom has many wonderful memories of watching movies under the starry night sky.

Thanks for a great post!

Robert V. Sobczak said...

I routinely went to an dinosaur of a drive in on Cape Cod, ... back in the day. I miss it, and those days.

luv2gosup said...

I really have a memory of a drive in movie -- my boyfriend proposed to me one night while at a movie and we wed a few days later. It lasted 52 years until his death. Your posting brought back so many memories, good and bad. For some reason I can't remember the movie playing that night, could be we weren't watching it, you think!!

anewwayoflife08 said...

I would love to go to a drive-in

Margie's Musings said...

It was great fun. We always went every week and when I was married and had children of our own, we continued the tradition until they all closed in our area.

Ladyfromthewoods said...

Although I'm always sad to pass by the spot where the old drive-in in Harrodsburg was (my childhood drive-in), we are blessed to still have a great drive-in operating just outside of Stanford! They also host a big outdoor flea market every weekend.

I think they probably opened this past weekend.

And there's a double screen one down in Somerset too, still operating the last time I checked.

bobbie said...

Gee, I hope they make a comeback! Drive In's were so much fun - when I was dating, and then when we put the kids in the back of the station wagon in their PJ's. Those were the days!!

Amber Star said...

Oh...I remember drive ins! I don't remember going with my parents much, but when my kids were little that was pretty much our main activity. The winters were temperate enough...pretty much...that the drive ins stayed open all year. It was the pits when it was raining and you had to try to figure a way to have the speaker somewhere sort of dry...and to keep the window up so we could stay sort of warm...and the windshield wipers on so we could sort of see the movie. Those were the days of a bucket of Colonel Sanders and kids everywhere. It was at the drive in we first saw Mad Max...it was the second movie and we thought all kids were over and out for the night, but NOooo....our youngest arose like something from the undead to watch and drool over the whole thing. She was in middle school at the time...I think. Probably too young to see so much gore, but she loved it. I think that was one of her favorite movies.

The closest drive in to us is about a 45 minute drive from here, but there are people who drive down there to go to it. I'm not sure how well it would work in the big city that Ft. Worth has become.

Jeannie said...

I really miss drive-in's. There's one in a couple of towns away that my husband and I went to about five years ago. I think it's time we return.

The moment I remember the most at a drive-in was watching Terminator with my mom. I was about 9 at the time. She said that she had to go to the bathroom, and so I should keep the doors locked while she was gone. She returned shortly, but instead of walking up to the car, she sneaked up on me from behind and yelled, "Boo", as she knocked hard on the windows. I screamed my lungs out. ROFL- my crazy mom!!

Judy said...

Oh my, what memories this entry you have posted brings back!

Those were part of the "good ole days" for me. :)

June Saville said...

What memories Judy! I remember taking my two children when littlies because they could wriggle around and it didn't matter much. Dating, of course, was another, earlier, chapter!

By the way I've just posted the final episode of 'Paternity' my mystery novel on Journeys in Creative Writing - I know you've been following it.
Dying to know what you think ...
June in Oz

Lilly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lilly said...

Oh yes the drive in. I remember my parents taking us to the drive in -5 kids - for the very first time and we saw Lawrence of Arabia. It poured rain the whole way through. I still remember it like it was yesterday! Great memories. No, my daughter would not have a clue what they were either. I have heard they are making a comeback and I think its kind of great. I agree, there are happy memories attached to them.

Clara....in TN said...

We still a drive-in movie open here in Bristol. Last summer we took the grandsons. They had never been to a drive-in movie. Every once in a while they ask when we can go again. I think it's about time for it to open. Drive_In Movie...here we come. I love it!

Margaret Cloud said...

We also liked the drive in, when we lived with Aunt Margaret she became religious and that put an end to movie going, even the inside ones. When I started dating my husband we went at least every Friday or Saturday night. We still have a drive in theater, this one has been open as long as I remember. We were like your mom when the kids were old enough we packed things to eat. Thank you for coming by and have a nice weekend.

pamwax said...

I don't think I ever went to the drive-in with my parents. I think the first time I went to the drive-in was when I started dating. The boys always wanted to park way in the back just in case they might get lucky. When I started dating my husband...Mr. Practical we always parked near the concession stand.

We did on occasion pack up the kids in their pj's and head for the drive-in. That was a big adventure for them when they were little.

ugich konitari said...

Judy, you know we had our one and only drive in in Mumbai about 30 years ago. They didnt really need one, space is at such a premium in Mumbai, but its like the Malls today. You had to be modern, and have one.

So they had one in land reclaimed from a swamp. we had the mangroves nearby, and a sort of a canal which drove the dirt of Mumbai daily into the sea. Still, people thought the drive -in was the most modern thing to have happened, and folks made an evening of it, with lots of vendors offereing real spicy stuff as snacks and dinner, which attached to your car window.

I think the smell of the swamp finally drove everyone away,and nobody has watched movies in a drive in for several decades now.

Joseph Pulikotil said...

Hi Judy:)

Greetings!

Lovely memories. You have recollected so well many incidents connected with the drive in movie. I enjoyed reading them. Your narration is like a movie itself. A stranger getting into your car and you and your sister banging your heads must have been real scary. One of your boy friends searching for the car after you moved it must have been very hilarious. Going in for a drive in movie is like going for a picnic.

I have no experience of drive in movie. When my children were small, we went to the movie theatres. But my eldest son was a very restless fellow and he will pester me to be taken to the urinal every now and then. This was very troublesome. So we stopped going to the theatres and watched movies on the DVD player.

I suppose there are no drive in movies here in Kochi because space is at a premium and finding such large space will be next to impossible and will not be productive to make huge investments. Where ever there is space, they build high rise apartments and sell them at fancy prices.

Times have changed. Life styles have changed. Therefore, your charming experiences at the drive in movie reads like a fairy tale.

Have a good day, Judy:)
Joseph

Linda said...

Ahh yes, those were the days. Some of our grandchildren have no idea what we're talking about when we talk about drive-ins.

Jamie Dawn said...

My parents took me when I was really little. I do remember going, and I fell off a swing there and conked my noggin'.
I'd love it if drive-in theaters would make a comeback.
What fun that would be!

Brenda said...

I remember that scary movie so well. It was, "Psycho" and the man jumped in the wrong car on my side, I still have not figured out why when I jumped toward you, you jumped toward me instead of the opposite direction. THE MAN WAS ON MY SIDE!!

Sweetie said...

I remember when we were teenagers and went to the drive in every weekend. There were usually three couples in a car(we squeezed together). There were several car loads of us all in the same row. We had a ball. When our children were small we would occasionally take them to the drive in. Our local drive in had a play ground. Then the movies charges to "r" and "x" rated and that was the end of drive ins for us.
Sweetie

Beverly said...

Oh, the memories of the drive-ins. They are some of the happiest times. Youth, innocence.

Can I quote you on the grandparents and grandchildren in the side bar?

Femin Susan said...

I enjoyed reading about your youth and drive in movies.

Thanks for visiting my blog and your kind comment feel free to visit again.
Keep posting........

Tabitha in Bliss said...

I've never had the pleasure of going to a drive in movie, but I enjoyed going there through your story. :)

Happy Monday Judy!!

Nancy said...

I loved the drive-in, too, when I was a kid. My mom would pop up a grocery bag full of popcorn, and we would get to have a bottle of pop. The first feature was usually family fare, and we would fall asleep before the main show that my mom and dad wanted to see came on. Great way to entertain the whole family!

Once when I went with a high school friend, she drove off with the speaker attached, like you said!

Ladyfromthewoods said...

Judy,
Thanks for thinking of us. Personally, all we had was hard rain and bean-sized hail, but I've posted about my sister-in-law who was the one house hit in the county. They were the ones on the news.
Thanks!
teresa

Balisha said...

I remember the drive-in movies too.I had forgotten, but we did sit there through the rain from time to time. My Grandkids would love to go to one of those today. have a nice Easter, Judy.