I live near a drive in. This is something that I have taken for granted most of my life. It wasn’t until university that I realized that there aren’t many other drive-ins still in existence – only two in this province if my memory is correct. So most people that I know now, have never been to a drive in.
But with my family it is different. We have all been to the drive in and that is exactly what happened last night. The way that the drive-in works is you pay by the carload. So if you have 7 people in the car it is the same price as if you go alone. And on the weekend that price is $15. It is only $12 during the week – but either way it is usually cheaper than going to the regular theatre. The big caveat to packing your car full is that you have to watch the movie from your car. At first glance it all seems simple, but there are other factors. First of all, they play two movies per night. You listen to the movie via your FM radio (there is an AM station available if you need it). The shows start at ‘dusk’ so you have to figure out what that means – however it is usually too light out still when they start the first movie.
Also during the first movie, the mosquitos are usually out in full force, so you want to keep your windows closed. The stereotype of the couple making out in the car at the drive-in with the windows steamed up might come to mind – and it should, because if you try to fit two plus adults (or large children) into a car that is off with the windows up, you are going to find out all about it. Since you are in your own car, you can bring what ever junk food, etc. you want with you. Add this to the closed quarters and it can worsen the heat in the car. Picture a thermos of tea perhaps.
You also can’t put your headlights on during the show – or you are regaled with horns because the light can wash out the video. During the intermission 50’s era cartoons play as potentially 100+ people rush to the bathrooms and canteen. The food is really expensive – more so than in a regular theatre, but you can get a hamburger if you wanted.
Despite all the joy this sounds like, the drive-ins suffer. You wouldn’t have known it last night though. Last night was a triple header – that is three movies (for the same entrance fee) and if you stayed until the end, it meant a 3:15 AM departure. Last night there were more cars there than I have ever witnessed – 217 is a number I heard and they were arriving well into the first movie.
The last thing I will say about the drive in is that the movies which play are typically recently out of the main theatres – last night for example was Bewitched followed by Mr. and Mrs. Smith and finally Rebound. All were very enjoyable. As much as I enjoy going, sitting in the car for three movies is a daunting task. Fun, but daunting :)