Revivin’ the Drive-In

The drive-in – not just for making out!

 If you’ve never been to a drive-in movie, you are missing a part of Americana that is surely going to be extinct soon.

I don’t care if you call me a hick or archaic or an archaic hick. There’s nothing like loading my truck up with lawn chairs, the cushions off my couch, a full cooler, all  of the kids, and parking in front of a huge screen in the dark. We lounge around in the bed of the truck, seated comfortably on the couch cushions while the big kids hang out on the tailgate or in the lounge chairs and the little kids curl up on a stack of pillows and blankets. We take fast food or pizzas in with us and the cooler is full of snacks and sodas.

The local drive-in is cheap, only about $6 for an adult and about $4.50 for kids 11 and younger and we can stay and watch two movies in a row for the price of one. Last weekend, we saw “UP”. The second feature was the Hannah Montana movie and my daughter and I wanted to stay, but the four males in our family outvoted us, two of them threatening a murder – suicide if we didn’t leave after “UP” was over. I almost stayed just to prove they wouldn’t go through with it, but part of me was worried they would.

The drive-in is much better than a jammed movie theater. I hate those places. I haven’t been inside of a movie theater since 1994. Honestly. The movie I saw was “Sixth Sense”.

I remember sitting in the crowded theater thinking, “No one in here will shut up, I’m sick of hearing cell phones, the guy behind me is drunk and about to upchuck on my neck, and if there’s a fire, I’m going to die.”

I don’t have those thoughts at a drive-in.

Besides, if it’s a crappy movie, I didn’t waste a ton of money and I can look up and watch the stars instead.

53 Comments on “Revivin’ the Drive-In”

  1. I love the drive in! Who wouldn’t rather be outside to do anything? The problem is, they all closed everywhere I’ve ever lived. I did think of trying to bring the drive in to the coast of Southern Spain. It would be pretty cheap since land is so cheap, and it would probably blow their doors off!

  2. nursemyra says:

    I think all the drive-ins in sydney are closed now… *sigh*

  3. I didn’t think hick when you said drive in. But then you had to throw in Truck and using the cushions off your couch. ha ha

    • Yep, that’s why I said you can call me a hick. It wasn’t because of the drive-in movie, it was the pickup truck and the couch cushions! Call me a hick. I don’t care. It’s comfortable. Last weekend, there was a nice breeze blowing and all of the stars were out. It was great.

      • Lynn says:

        from one “hick” to another, yeehaw, i love drive-ins too. pop your own popcorn and pick up a 6 pk of soda on your way…pillows go too depending on whether or not you have kids. new to your site, will check out more thoroughly now. thanks.

  4. I blame the Cinemafia for this. They realized that the only way they are going to make money with movies is to show them in theaters. You can find more about how evil the Cinemafia is by searching for “Cinemafia” on my blog. It’s a sad day for America when there are no more drive-in theaters.

    • The Cinemafia, of course!Why didn’t I realize that? Can you do something about this in your campaign?

      I don’t think the Cinemafia is getting rich from the admission ticket. It’s from the Concessions! Or is there a separate Concessionmafia?

      • Lynn says:

        cinemafioso? i know my husband’s family is involved in this some how-his family is,’s just say italian (on the grounds that i might incriminate myself or someone i love) and he hates drive ins.. it’s all making sense to me now.i will speak with him about this immediately!

  5. alantru says:

    I LOVE the drive in. There’s one left up north from here. One! We go at least once a summer. (Going on the theory there’s only one, we go only once… Hmm…)

    For me though, it was even more special when I was a kid. Ah, sweet nostalgia.

    • That’s a big part of the experience for me too, Alan. When I was a kid, we lived out in the middle of nowhere and I didn’t get to go to movies at all, much less drive-ins. When I found one here, I knew it was something to do as a family. The kids love it. We go several times a year.

  6. Apparently I live in archaic hicksville, because we have a super drive-in with two screens that show three movies a night. Also they charge by the carload. I like honking the horn and flashing the high beams to let the “lot” know that I’ve just scored. Oh and getting lost after going to the bathroom so I can walk up and down the gravel hills.

  7. Can people who don’t have cars go to a drive-in? How about watching from a tree?

    • I hadn’t thought of that. I’m sure that if you wanted to climb a tree with a radio, you could watch the movie. If the Drive-in police discover you while they are taking a break from busting teenagers making out, what could they really do about it? It’s not theft. If you aren’t on their property, it isn’t trespassing.

  8. There aren’t any left around here either. I remember living in terror of them as a teen, though, if I was on a date with someone I didn’t like.

    And let’s not ask why I was that desperate, OK?

  9. When I was a kid my grandmother lived next to a Drive-In. We turned up the speakers along the back row, sat up lawn chairs, and watched movies all summer…those were the days.

    • My kids will have memories of drive-ins. I don’t know how much longer the drive-in here will last, but I think it’s sad that part of our history has been replaced by IMAX.

  10. George says:

    I’ve finally figured out that one of the perks of having moved to Southern California is that they have drive-ins year round. I thought those things were defunct. I can’t wait to sneak the kids in the trunk (after hitting up the Dollar Store for Candypalooza) and catching a good flick.

    Now if only my car battery will hold up.

    • George, We get year round drive-ins here too. I wonder if that’s why so many of them went under? They could only make business in warm weather.

      Take a portable radio. The batteries are cheaper.

      And don’t forget to let the kids out of the trunk. Whether you let them out before or after Candypalooza is up to you!

  11. I have never had the privilege of going to one. My mother-in-law’s family use to own a big one where I’m from. That has long since vanished. I do hope to attend one someday before they are all but gone. The drive in not my mother-in-law’s family. LOL.

    • Eric, with the baby coming, you may be seeing a lot more of the in-law’s.

      Too bad you can’t send them to the drive-in.

      I think I’m going to get a projector and show movies on the side of my house. We can swim and I’ll call it a “dive-in”.

      I’m going to charge admission, sell overpriced hot dogs and sodas. I’m gonna be rich!

  12. I’ve only been to a drive-in once. In El Paso, TX. I think the double-feature was Exit to Eden/Timecop. Thank god the view was awful and the speakers were nearly broken.

    I’ve never been back. El Paso also had a porn drive-in theater, oddly enough.

  13. Gryphon says:

    Drive In movie theatres were great. I miss them. Porn drive ins were okay as well, but redundant.

  14. Bob Trusty says:

    The drive in sounds like magic! If only i could drive! Mum wouldnt go with me, she doesnt like the movies that much, but it sounds like a grand outing for lovers and lawnchairs! LOSTL!


    • Hi Bob! I have this incredible urge to say “thank goodness you’re here!”.. but I will control myself.

      You can go to the drive-in with my family, but I am concerned about one of my children corrupting you.

      My seven year old is a real spitfire.

      • Bob Trusty says:

        LOSTL! Alan likes me being there! I dont know where here is or there, but im there! LOSTL!

        Your children would corrupt me? im not an impressionable fellow! And if your seven year old is a spitfire, he might need some mylanta.

        One time, i had a firey stomach and i had some mylanta and it made it feel better!

        One day ill make it to the drive in though! what a luxurious day that will be!


        • Oh dear, dear Bob,

          You haven’t met my children. It doesn’t matter how impressionable you are. They’re just very good at corrupting.

          But you could still come to the movies with us.

  15. I love the drive-in as well! We have one left in the local area. However I don’t mind the movie theater at all, in fact I enjoy movie theaters, especially with their new sound systems and stadium seating.

    • Hi Concession Trailer! What a great name for a blog about movies! Thanks for coming by. So many people love movie theaters. I think I’m an oddity that I hate the confines of a movie theater and prefer the great outdoors.

  16. zeusiswatching says:

    My father used to take us to the drive in movies in Minnesota. Those mosquitoes would just wait for the poor family that came to the drive in in a convertible.

    My brother and I probably ate more concession stand hot dogs and hamburgers at the drive in than all other movie houses combined.

    • Zeus! Great to see you! And to know you’re watching!

      There’s nothing like sitting in a convertible watching a movie and being descended upon by a swarm of hungry mosquitos. That is a huge benefit of living in the desert. We don’t have mosquitos to ruin the drive in!

      • zeusiswatching says:

        The mosquito is the Minnesota state bird. Thirsty carnivores with insatiable appetites, they hunt humans, the family dog too.

        The night our family went out to an exurban parking lot to watch Skylab pass over we went home later and needed emergency transfusions. “Off” is a valuable commodity in the land of ten thousand lakes.

        • Ha! Minnesota state bird! Too funny. I visited my sister in Mississippi in August. They were so thick there that I literally couldn’t leave the house at night. They eat me alive but my husband can walk through a swarm unscathed while I hide in a vault and they still find me. I was born and raised in Missouri. I think I had Deet flowing through my veins for awhile, but I’ve been away so long that it doesn’t help anymore.

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