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Country Discussion Topics
To add your comments to this topic, click on one of the 'Reply' links below.

Long Gone Country Drive-Ins
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Spence    Posted 04-17-2002 at 16:25:59       [Reply]  [No Email]
The drive-in is a thing of the past in these parts. Before we were married, it was a great spot to look at the stars OK,OK look at the moon already!, (geese can't make a typo on this board).
My wife's mother would ask us what the movie was all about. "Well, errrr, well you see itttt, cowboy show, .... say is that coffee I smell"

When the kids started coming, we'd pack them up in jammies and throw the baseball mits,teddy bears,blankets and pillows in the back seat. The dogs and burgs were especially tasty on a Saturday night for some reason.

Even the bruisers on big harleys would toss the ball around with the kids too. If you couldn't get your car going, seems like they were always there, the "drive-in mechanics" for everyone.

The smoochers were at the rear lane, and you could tell right away in 1 minute. First park real fast, tear up as much gravel as possible, ignore post scraping fender, try again, hook on the speaker, then disappear, 1 minute flat, no kidding. (could never figure out why they needed the speaker). Kids would ask "Where did the people go in those cars daddy". I recall I said they lost something on the floor or something like that. The late commers got the first lanes and must have had sore necks when they got home.

Some would put sleeping bags on car hoods for the kids. Some would park backwards in pickups with their bags.

They tell me beer was always a problem. To me it seems like part of the picture. I never witnessed a fight at a drive in. It could have been the collective nature of the place that prevented that, the presence of the kids, smell of popcorn and all that, sort of made everyone decent.

Skeeters were a pain to me and I could never get used to them. I think they knew it too, my wife and kids never got bothered. Another thing that always suckered me was the speaker cables, I'd walk right into them in the dark no matter what. I'd have a sheepish grin while the driver checked out his window with a frown on his face. They could replace the Brooklyn bridge span cables with those speaker cables. Never saw one break, saw a window go flying once though.

Needless to say one had to keep ones eyes straight ahead on the way to the popcorn hut. You'd have to tell the kids to take the center lane to the hut and not go between the cars.

When the sun disappeared there'd better be a cartoon going or the horns would start blaring.
The kids were fast asleep by the middle of the main feature unless it was Star Wars or something special, then they'd be waking us up.

I drive by the lot now, and the screen boards
are falling off and there's a chain at the gate. The parking spots are pushing up weeds and the posts slant every which away. They say the place is for sale. Might be a business there for die-hard drive-in buffs, who knows. Times have changed, I doubt if you can let kids loose to go to washrooms alone, or play in the drive in ball park anymore, such is the sick mentality of today. Seems like we came from safer days, I could be wrong.


WallSal55    Posted 04-19-2002 at 07:09:46       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I believe there is still one between Sterling
and Dixon, IL. There's a drive-in in Wisconsin
Dells. Seems like the one in Wisconsin Dells is
more family orientated. The others that are left
are more a teen attraction.


Jim(MO)    Posted 04-18-2002 at 12:15:11       [Reply]  [Send Email]
There are at least 2 still operating in the Kansas City area. One in Moberly and several other smaller cities in Missouri.


Tyler(WA)    Posted 04-18-2002 at 09:49:28       [Reply]  [No Email]
There are three that I know of and another that I think is still in opperation.

Auburn, WA, has one and there's another half way between Tacoma and Seattle, called the Midway Drive-in. Another near the Sea-Tac airport is called the Lewis & Clark Drive-in.

Then in Shelton, Wa, there is a very popular one that is still in opperation. I'm sure there are more but those come to mind as I'm thinking about it.

Most all of them support their off season with flea markets.


Jim (Mi)    Posted 04-18-2002 at 09:20:57       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I am relatively young (25) but used to have one by my parents house up till about 7 years ago. I remember courting my girlfriend (now wife) there. To young for a place. No money for anything else. Never actually watched a movie, but sure had fun. Man was I a classy guy. LOL Wonder she ever married me.


8NTX    Posted 04-18-2002 at 08:40:18       [Reply]  [No Email]
Wow, how this brings back the memories. I bet I went to the drive-in about 30 or 40 times a year when I was a teenager. Great place to make out with your girlfriend, or drink some special beverages with your buddies. About half the time we would accidentally drive-off with the speakers. Didn't mean to, just happened. Too embarassed to go hang it back on the post, so I think I may still have a couple of 'em in a box somewhere. Tried to hook some up to the old hi-fi once, didn't work too good. Would always get hamburgers and popcorn there, to this day I still love eating those together and it always reminds me of the drive-in. I remember that John Wayne showed up at the opening of the Gemini in Dallas, one of his movies was premiering there or something. I remember thinking, wow, John Wayne, good-sized guy, but he had little feet!


SingleMommy...I wish they were still around for my kids    Posted 04-18-2002 at 08:02:18       [Reply]  [No Email]
I have only been once. They were almost phased out while I was growing up...I went once and then they turned it into a flea market! Not bad because I love a good deal but I would have liked to bring my kids to the movies like that!

Are there ANY drive ins left in the US?

SingleMommy


Mark A    Posted 04-18-2002 at 09:14:10       [Reply]  [Send Email]
In central Texas there is one. A new one just a year or two old, out in the country. Ever think of moving to Texas? Email me.


Hal/WA    Posted 04-17-2002 at 21:15:27       [Reply]  [No Email]
Great post! I miss the drive in movies too. I haven't seen one in operation for 10 or 15 years. We had a lot of fun at those shows when we were kids. I am glad that there was still one operating when my kids were small. We took them a couple of times and they still remember.

In Spokane, it gets cold in the winter, so most of the old drive ins closed for the winter. But there were two that installed electric heaters that you could put in your car, just like the speaker. That way, you didn't have to idle your car during the movie. Ahh for the days of cheap energy!

Drive ins seem to have gone out of fashion. Of course the sound quality was lousy, and if it rained, it made it hard to see the screen unless you ran the wipers. The movies were always second run, but were cheaper than the inside theaters. I bet I saw "Thunder Road" 20 times over the years.

And everthing I learned there wasn't on the screen....



Ira    Posted 04-17-2002 at 18:29:55       [Reply]  [Send Email]
There is still one operating in Elgin Pa. right on rt. 6 if you want to go.


Justin - Pa    Posted 04-19-2002 at 13:30:32       [Reply]  [No Email]
Been there...Up until last year there was also a triple screen drive-in in Erie,PA by Presque Isle.

They are still around...just have to look hard. And no more window speakers...broadcast over the radio now (much better sound quality)


Dave 2N    Posted 04-17-2002 at 18:26:59       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Before we were married, when we were dating, my wife and I really enjoyed going to the Drive-Ins. Couldn't tell you a thing about any of the movies but we sure did "enjoy" ourselves."

One of my buddys had a '57 Olds; four of us could get into that trunk with no problem and we could usually gsneak in OK unless someone noticed how low the rear of the car was.


Mike in Va.    Posted 04-17-2002 at 18:04:02       [Reply]  [No Email]
Dad had a '63 Willys Wagoneer. On Dollar night we packed 17 of us in the thing and off we went. When we drove over the ditch to show off for the Pom Pom Girls we broke a front spring. We watched
The Guns of Navorone. I'll never forger that night. Thanks a ton for bringing it drive-ins. Made for some nice recollections...


PCC-AL    Posted 04-17-2002 at 18:14:00       [Reply]  [No Email]
Hi Mike,
I had forgotten about The Guns of Navorone. I saw it at the drive in also. So many years ago. We had Dollar Night too and some of the guys had kids riding on top, hood and trunk. Fun.


Great post Spence- PCC-AL    Posted 04-17-2002 at 18:02:24       [Reply]  [No Email]
You must be near my age. Our drive in was 10 miles away, the only one near. The name was "Drive In". A lot of us young boys got our education there. One particular girl I remember, er, uh. Oh well, neither one of us alone would now fit in the back of my old 40 Chevy coupe.
Anyway, like you say, great burgers, etc.
The owner, an old gentleman, always wore a big brown floppy hat. About the last show there was "Thunderball". When we asked him about the movie, he said "Well son, it's just a thunderball". His wife worked the snack bar and made the burgers. At home she made scratch biscuits, pies, etc. I probably would commit crime for some of that food now.
All gone now, planted hay field. Still one standing, but closed not too far away. The old Tip Top Drive In near Samson, Alabama. It's about to fall in, but the screen is still standing. I saw the Pink Panther there in the early 60s on my way to Pensacola Navy base.
And don't forget the Saturday night Bingo. Even the church women would sometimes show up to play bingo. I won a fishing rod once, but the darn thing broke before I could drive home. Fun just the same.


Great post Spence- PCC-AL    Posted 04-17-2002 at 17:52:50       [Reply]  [No Email]
You must be near my age. Our drive in was 10 miles away, the only one near. The name was "Drive In". A lot of us young boys got our education there. One particular girl I remember, er, uh. Anyway, like you say, great burgers, etc.
The owner, an old gentleman, always wore a big brown floppy hat. About the last show there was "Thunderball". When we asked him about the movie, he said "Well son, it's just a thunderball". His wife worked the snack bar and made the burgers. At home she made scratch biscuits, pies, etc. I probably would commit crime for some of that food now.
All gone now, planted hay field. Still one standing, but closed not too far away. The old Tip Top Drive In near Opp, Alabama. It's about to fall in, but the screen is still standing. I saw the Pink Panther there in the early 60s on my way to Pensacola Navy base.


Sorry about the double post.-Must be the puter. -PCC-AL    Posted 04-17-2002 at 18:06:28       [Reply]  [No Email]
.


Mudcat49    Posted 04-17-2002 at 16:54:50       [Reply]  [No Email]
Some of the later ones didn't have speakers, you tuned in to a am radio station to hear the movie. There was even some here in South Florida that had a big hose that u stuck into your window and rolled it up a ways that piped AC into your car. A lot of them down here started having flea markets/swap sales on Sat and Sun.


bob ny    Posted 04-17-2002 at 16:53:00       [Reply]  [No Email]
brings back memories you forgot sneaking your pals in inside the trunk the flavo shrimp rolls
and the wires do break when you pull out with the
speaker on the window thanks for the trip back


Andy in Ga.    Posted 04-17-2002 at 20:04:41       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Just opened a new one here in Bowman,Ga. The kids are flocking to it. Gonna check it out myself.


Spence    Posted 04-18-2002 at 07:03:28       [Reply]  [No Email]
A new drivein!!?

Hey, maybe it's on the way back. That's great. You know with all of them gone, I'd bet there's still some money in it enuff to make a livin anyway.



Redneck    Posted 04-19-2002 at 02:35:50       [Reply]  [No Email]
Steamy windows,the smell of drive in food,slippin in,fight'n skeeters all are good memories.The walk ins were always full of people that talked and had too much perfume on.......and holding hands was about as far as it got in walk ins.

There are still a few around here and the kids don't see the attraction,I guess they have saw and done too much already.Too many good things have went by the wayside because of only a few people.I always feel like I was born a 150 years too late.


Ray/Pa    Posted 04-21-2002 at 05:21:58       [Reply]  [No Email]
Howdy, many years ago we had a least 5 , here in berks county Pa, then the Yuppies came in, tore them down and built shopping centers. I guess all they know how to do is pretend to work and then shop.


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