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Revenge of the Drive-Ins

Up until recently, if you asked me to name a time-traveling car, the Delorean would have been my only answer (before moving on, yes, I understand that there are other time-traveling cars in cinema. Austin Powers has two, for example). But this was all before my first drive-in experience.

Now, if you don’t know much about the history of drive-ins, it is fascinating in and of itself, but I won’t be talking about that today. If it is something you’d like to read up on, you can do so here. What I’m here to talk about is my experience, which is one I thoroughly enjoyed.

Let’s start off with the amazing ticket prices. I went to the Malta Drive-In, who, on that particular night, was showing a double feature… for $9! I couldn’t even process this. I thought it was a joke, but no joke here. I got to see X-Men: Apocalypse and Neighbors 2 for less than what I usually pay at the movie theater for one movie. Point to the drive-ins!

So what about the actual viewing experience? If we’re being honest with each other, this is what I was most skeptical about. I wasn’t too keen on being locked in the car because, in my mind, it would just ruin the movie: It’s an unfamiliar setting, and anyone who knows me knows that I’m a big proponent of seeing a movie in theaters. Imagine my surprise when I found myself liking the experience the same, if not more than the traditional setting.

“Why?” you may be asking. Well, there are a bunch of reasons. First off, the volume of the movie. The sound for the film goes through your car radio, so it can be put to a personal preference much like a TV. Second, and probably the thing I liked the most, was the atmosphere. You’re in your own safe space free to speak with whoever you’re with about what’s going on or ask any questions without having to be mindful of those around you. It’s literally like having a new release screened in the comfort of your home.

In their hay-day, there were over 5,000 drive-ins across America. Today, fewer than 400 remain. Johnny Rockets is trying to bring back this experience, which is something you can read about here (and something that I am fully behind – I always love me some Johnny Rockets). Here’s to hoping this plan is a success because I truly believe this is something all movie lovers would enjoy.

For my generation, most of us have only heard of the drive-ins from our parents/grandparents or seen them in movies like Grease. I hope that by reading this post I can sway just one person to attend a movie at the drive-in, and have their eyes opened to a new viewing media like mine were.

OH and one more thing, go to the movies! (Or the drive-in)

-Tom

P.S. Now for a little drive-in humor for our end of the blog quote post!

Danny: Hey, Sandy, wait a minute.

Sandy: I’m sorry, Danny… Maybe it’s better if we forget about it.

Danny: Hey, Sandy, where are you going’? You can’t just walk out of a drive-in!

 

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