Drive-in Theater Memories
Last night, Enchantress had the idea to go to a drive-in movie (she’s obviously the brains of our operation). In our area we have two drive-in theaters, Becky’s, which is good because it has two screens so there are two double features playing a night, and Shankweiler’s, which has only 1 screen so you’re stuck seeing whatever they’re playing. We wanted to see Incredibles 2, which was playing at both, so we went with Shankweiler’s because it’s only 4 minutes from our house. I’m glad we went there, because not only is it the oldest drive-in movie theater in America, but it’s also the one we went to when I was a kid.
We got there, and there are two areas to park. The higher vehicles are restricted to the back yellow poles and the smaller vehicles can go wherever, but are suggested to go in the white poles. We found a good spot and pulled in. It took me a while to figure out how to keep my car’s entertainment system on, and keep the lights and what not off, but we figured it out, and the screen lit up with the countdown.
I love the menu for this drive-in, so eclectic. Probably hasn’t changed much from when I went as a kid.
(the second of the double feature was Avengers Infinity war, it was a money night at the movies)
When we were kids, the drive-in was always a major event. It was different then just going to the boring old movies, there was a build up to it. If our parents took us to a regular theater, you can bet we were going to the matinee, home by 8 at the latest. When you’re at a drive-in, the first movie doesn’t even start till 9pm.
We were usually treated to fast food of some kind. Maybe a trip to the Burger King kids club. My go-to was the chicken tender meal, with BBQ sauce. Now-a-days, people take for granted that you can pour your own soda’s at fast food places. Hell, with the coke mix master deal they encourage you to make your drink your own. But back in the day Burger King was the only place that gave you free reign of the soda fountain, and I considered myself a bit of a mixologist. My poison was just a little bit of every soda in the row, DELICIOUS.
After BK, we’d stop at the grocery store to stock up on snacks. My family, like I’ve said, was upper-lower-middle class, so paying a premium for snacks at the drive-in wasn’t gonna happen. We’d buy some ecto-cooler juice boxes, maybe some “Ssips” Iced Tea Juice boxes. A bag of chips, maybe a bag of Eagle Snack Mix (back in the day, Anheuser Busch sold their own line of snacks, it was called Eagled brand, the snack mix was delicious, look it up). We’d have blankets and some folding lawn chairs packed in the back of my dad’s green and tan ford bronco and we’d head in around 8pm for the movie.
Usually there was a group of us. It would be our family, and my parents friends. All the kids would run around like maniacs for an hour, ensuring that we’d be nice and quiet come time for the movie. I couldn’t tell last night if it was still there, but Shankweiler’s used to have a playground right in front of the screen.
I remember a particular time we went to the drive-in, where I only cared about 1 thing and 1 thing only. A second theatrical appearance by Roger FUCKING RABBIT. There was a Roger Rabbit short attached to the front of Honey I Shrunk the Kids, and after we saw that with Cocoon 2 as the double feature. Movie for the kids/movie for the parents.
Last night brought back a lot of good memories from the drive-in. We’re gonna make sure we hit it up a few times this summer, as it’s so close to our house our radio kept the audio signal almost to our front door.
Thanks for reading, I’ll be back with another blog tomorrow. I hope you’re all enjoying our Summer Vacation! Leave your drive-in memories in the comments below.
Also, I embedded Tummy Trouble, the Roger Rabbit short below