I can’t express how wonderful a night at the drive-in can be. I love to pack the car full of blankets and snacks and pull into the dusty lot as the sun sinks lower in the sky.
I love getting out of the car and walking around before the movies start. There are children playing catch and Frisbee and tag. They roll down the grassy hill and crash into each other at the bottom.
The cool kids mill about by the concession stand. This used to be my favorite place to walk by repeatedly when I was in high school.
I love walking up the hill to look at the screen.
And I love looking at the ghosts of drive-ins past. The original screen supports are in the brush behind the new screen.
I love watching people get ready for the movie.
And I love crawling into the backseat of my car, curling up in a blanket and digging into the snacks. My favorite is gummi bears:
It’s very serious business, these gummies. Without them, the entire night would be ruined!
Ian prefers to be classier. He ate homemade bread with brie and chipotle blueberry sauce and drank organic, low-fat chocolate milk. (And he ate pretty much all of the gummi bears so who's classy now?)
I especially love the intermission film from the 1970's. I can't even describe it here, it's too awesome. I can tell you that one of the highlights is a closeup of a burger being fried on a griddle...and then they mash out the grease with a spatula. Delicious!
Here's a terrible picture of them about to drop a basket of what I think are egg rolls into a boiling vat of grease. I can't promise they're really egg rolls...no one really knows what they are and that's my best guess.
As you can tell, I have such an innocent view of the drive-in, normally a place with a bad reputation. I love nothing more than to sit in my car with the sunroof open, watch two movies I wouldn’t pay to see in the theater, listen to crickets chirping and people in nearby cars laughing, see a falling star out of the corner of my eye, have some snacks and feel incredibly lucky to experience it all one more time. I never know if the drive-in will be open one year to the next. Each fall they say it’s the last and then spring comes around and it’s open again.
It’s an unexplainable feeling, this experience only a handful of people have had or will have. Old melds with new and those who appreciate such things feel at home.
I have more to say about drive-ins but this post is already long enough. Tomorrow I'll share my rules for a successful drive-in and also some drive-in etiquette. If you want to see more pictures, click the first for a picassa slideshow or any of the others to check them out at flickr.