Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Do you Remember Drive-In Movies?

Do you remember drive-in movie theatres?  They’re almost a thing of the past now.  I haven't been to one since 1971.  In fact, I have clear memories of the event because by then, it was a rare occurrence.  However, when I was a child, our favorite form of entertainment, along with Sunday afternoon drives, was the drive-in movies.  We never went to an indoor movie theatre.

A love of movies is in my
blood
 I grew up with parents who were movie fans.  Whenever there was a little extra money, we'd go to the movies.

In spite of a lack of money, mom and dad still wanted to go to the show, and so we'd hunt around the house for lost coins.  If we were lucky, we'd find a few between the sofa cushions.  If we couldn't find enough change, there was always the possibility of cashing in some empty pop bottles.  My parents were also coca-cola fans.

My brother and I would have a bath and put on our pajamas.  Mom would pop popcorn, over the stove, in a cast iron frying pan, constantly holding the pan above the red-hot element while shaking it.  When the popcorn was popped, she'd pour her special, secret caramel sauce over top.  We packed the popcorn and coke in the car. 

After we arrived at the drive-in, and found a parking spot, dad would take the speaker off the pole, and play with the dial until the sound was just right.  On occasion, we had to move to another parking spot because the speaker wasn't working right.

Before the features began, and there were always two, there was a newsreel, coming attractions and cartoons.

Between the first and second movie, there was an intermission.  Patrons were motivated to visit the snack bar by cartoon popcorn, hot dog, hot and cold beverages, all singing and dancing.  Frequently, the music would stop.  The number of minutes left until show time would flash on the screen. 

An announcer would say something like, "Well folks, only 3 minutes left.  Hurry on down to our snack bar for a cool soft drink and a plump and juice hot dog.  The popcorn is popping right now, especially for you.  The snack bar is about to close, so you've got no time to waste."

I'd watch as people left their cars and hurried on down to the snack bar, and took it for granted we weren't going to the snack bar.

By the time the second feature began, my brother and I were sound asleep.

Do you have memories of the drive-in movies and popping corn in a skillet?  If you do, then your in the third age of your life.

2 comments:

Peter said...

Well, if I'm in the third age of my life remains a secret. However, drive-ins never existed over here, thus my experience over there. I remember those hooks on the speakers to hang them into the side window. Since everything was new to me I hanged(?) the speakers onto the steering wheel - just to proof to my girlfried how bloody stupid all those foreigners were. I don't remember the movie but only that she was giggling all evening. I guess I never got over it ;-)

Diary of a third age woman said...

Probably not enough extra land in England to build drive-in movies. They took up tons of space. When researching to write this tidbit, I was surprised to learn there actually are still drive-ins kicking about.

However, no speakers, all patraons neet to do is tune in on a specific spot on the radio dial.