Friday, June 8, 2012

The drive-in experience

A couple of weeks ago, we were sitting at home watching a movie with some friends and somebody suggested we go to the Tower Drive-In to watch a movie.

Since the movie we were not exactly enjoying was not one of the best flicks ever, we agreed to go and watch a double feature offering Men in Black III and Ghostrider, the sequel.

It was around 7:30 or so and the movie wouldn’t start until around 8:40ish. No need to hurry, plenty of the time.

So we split up to get ready and decided to meet at the drive-In.

We loaded up some lawn chairs in the back of the Craigmobile (not to be confused with the Batmobile), and made the short drive to the Tower, expecting to leisurely make our way in, pick out a good parking spot and enjoy a night of watching movies under the stars.

As I drove up the lane, I realized the plans might not go as expected. There were already well over a hundred vehicles parked and waiting for the movie and several autos waiting in line.

Uh-oh, I thought and probably said, but can’t remember. I pulled out the phone and gave our friends a call telling them to get those rears in gear and hurry up.

Kids and some not-quite kids were playing down at the bottom down by the screen. I didn’t see any parking spots until we got to the top, and then, there weren’t all that many.

We paid and made out way into the lot to find a spot. I deftly parked at a spot in the upper corner, using my years of driving experience.

After I had to repark after the Trish the Wife was not exactly impressed with my parking, I got out and moved our chairs to an adjacent spot to save one for the Perdues, the Andy and Brenda variety.

“Gosh, there are a lot of people here,” I said. Trish said something appropriate like “duh”.

After I got comfortable in my chair, she decided it was time for some goodies. I had noticed the line was quite lengthy on the way in and suggested she go to the concession stand while I guarded the extra spot for the Perdues, but was given a wife veto and sent on my way in search of popcorn and a soft drink.

I ran into a couple I know (not literally) and mentioned how surprised I was to see this many people since my last visit was to watch Twister, which according to my friend Google came out in 1996.

Being veteran drive-In attendees, they said it was like this all the time. I thought they were joking.

Nope. Then, they said they arrived at 6:30 that night to make sure to get a good spot.


And I found out later that people actually had to be turned away the previous weeks when Avengers was showing. I also discovered the concession stand offered a lot more than I expected with hamburgers, hot dogs, funnel cakes and more, not just candy, drinks and popcorn.

Gosh, I felt like an idiot. I thought drive-in movies were on their last legs with DVDs, movies on smart phones and tablets, etc.

Not hardly. People still dug watching movies outside, just like they did back in the 1950s and 1960s. The biggest difference is you don’t have to attach a speaker to your window like you did back then. You turn the old radio dial to a certain frequency and hear the volume over the radio.

Our friends showed up and we parked the women folk in the back of the truck, but were nice enough to let them sit in lawn chairs, while Andy and I sat in our chairs by the truck.

Men in Black III was pretty good. We hightailed it after the first flick because it was past my bedtime and I had no desire to watch Ghostrider 2 Spirit of Vengeance since the original Ghostrider was easily one of the stupidest movies ever.

Plus, this week I read a story in the Tulsa World about a drive-in theater in Tulsa reopening after the screen burned and how anxious people were to attend it again.

1 comment:

  1. I didn't realize drive-in movies were still around, either. Hope you and Andy had a wonderful experience, especially with the popcorn and drinks/concession stand.