18 April 2011

Five Things That Make An Ordinary Summer Extraordinary

Thing Number Five: Going to the Drive In

I grew up next door to a drive in theatre, so number ten has a special place in my heart. We could hang out on my grandma's roof, with a radio station dialed in to the movie audio, and watch a movie any time we wanted, at least until I was eight or so and the drive in was torn down.

I'm going to date myself and admit that I watched E.T. the Extraterrestrial a million times out my bedroom window, which also directly faced the drive in movie screen. It was great until the place deteriorated into showing mainly softcore porn, not good viewing material for a kid. Now it's a trailer park.

But drive in theatres, although rare, still exist. There's one about an hour's drive from my house, and seeing a movie there is a different kind of magic altogether from watching a movie in a regular theatre. The screen is big and the movies always look like they're in soft focus; the audio isn't the greatest. But there's nothing like taking a convertible to the drive in, watching a movie with your feet up on the dash. You can hear the crickets chirping in the woods. There's a real intermission, and during it you can go buy real drive in food and take it back to your car and watch people while you eat it. Or you can hang around the concession stand and play a thirty year old game of Ms. Pac Man.

If you get tired of the movie, you can lean your head back and look at the stars, and if there's a scary part you can cuddle up close to your date. More than once I've gone in my pajamas. It's a lost pleasure, almost, but it's still possible to find a drive in. It's still possible to find that kind of magic.

No comments: