In the way-back machine, we used to visit a Drive-In theater. Anybody remember them? They used to be the “bees knees” for young people on dates. I used to have a old pick-up truck I would drive and park backwards and we would take blankets, a ice cooler, pizza, and put the tail gate down and sit in the back. My drive-in is here. This place used to hop and the snack bar would have hundreds of people waiting during the break between the movies.
I was telling my daughter about the experience and she could not quite get it. It dawned on me she had never seen one, been to one. Amazing! This social and cultural institution which impacted and built how we identified with others is pretty much gone. I have these memories of attending the drive-in; sitting in the back of the truck and we all had a great time. People would drive in and drive all around the theater with the three screens looking for the place to park where one could see two screens at the same time.
That’s what it was like. People outdoors on a starry evening. Socializing, talking, maybe watching the coming attractions which seemed to go on for quite some time. Now we sit in isolation in the theaters with the 3d sound. The recorded messages remind us to not talk or move around or answer the phone. What a difference!
The loss of a cultural icon I feel. The drive-in was a social marker of the times. People would end up at the drive-in on a Friday night and sometimes they had three movies that night at the Lancaster Drive-In. After, there was the rush to get out of the place but many people just stayed until the traffic died down.
I guess we’ve replaced that whole socializing thing with the new 3d glasses and 25 screen monsters. Something was gained there; but a lot more has been lost.
Been to a drive-in lately? I am going to find one here and take my daughter to it before they fade away and all we have are urban anthropological folklores about them.