Where Have All The Drive-Ins Gone…

Last summer, we had this great idea… let’s get Sofia’s sleeping bag, make a grocery bag full of popcorn, a gallon of refreshing libation and head to the drive-in. Mom said, where’s a drive-in anyway. I said I think there’s two, one in the south end and one over in southern Indiana. Up to google and within minutes it’s whittled down to one… it’s in southern Indiana but it’s about a 40 minute drive. I go to their website and click around and discover they went out of business 2 months earlier. My memories of the drive-in with our family and then later when we were all just trying not to get arrested are some of the best. I saw “Blazing Saddles” there and “Young Frankenstein” and “Dirty Mary and Crazy Larry” and when we went with my dad we saw “True Grit” and “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly” and James Bond movies… this was before Roger Moore who was far from convincing even to a young’n and always reminded me of Buddy Ebsen in “Barnaby Jones” or Jimmy Carter in “The White House”, oh, right that wasn’t a tv show… but Buddy and Roger were codgers and they would run after 20 year old criminals and then kick their asses, please! I know, older reference lost on younger readers but remember that Cannon detective dude on “Cannon” (same era as “Barnaby Jones”)? That guy was pushing 300 lbs. but they would have him chase down a criminal in his 20’s and not even be breathing heavily. But I digress, I was busy at the computer the other day and the bug is behind me on the not-white-anymore carpet humming her little made up songs… she interrupts me and says, come look at the movies. So in the doorway on one side of the hall is this (the audience)…

In the doorway across the hall is this (the movie)…

I ask her a bunch of questions and go back to sit down and she says, wait you didn’t see the parking lot…

We had a great day yesterday. It was 55 and on the way to the Red Pooper, I started singing, I… can’t… drive… 55. Not sure why this stuck but Sofia sang it all through lunch and beyond. We had a long pleasant walk with the demon dog who I think is slowly being renamed Dingus. I’ve used so many epithets in frustration like dolt, doofus, dingleberry, satan, goofball, goofus, sunblaster, doltus, etc. and somehow have somewhat affectionately landed on Dingus. So when we’re playing with her, I throw the rubber chew toy and say Dingus Badingus, go get your thingus and this plays very well with a 5 year old… big yucks every time. Anyway, later we went for a longer walk with oranges in my pockets and had one at the softball field. Then on to the railroad tracks, the reservoir and the fountain at the natatorium and then all the way back home. Sofia stopped to pet this woman’s old dog and while she was playing with the dog and rolling down the hill getting muddy, this woman that I had never met before tried to convince me that I should send Sofia to a private catholic school. I kept trying to be diplomatic and say things like… well, Mom and I were both raised catholic but we aren’t catholic now. Unfortunately, this didn’t sink in and she kept up until she was convinced that Sofia wasn’t going to catholic school even though she just happened to be having dinner that evening with the kindergarten teacher at the catholic school she was recommending. Then she immediately switched to montessori schools… a disciplinarian no doubt. Anyway, home for dinner and it was a great day all round.


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9 Responses to “Where Have All The Drive-Ins Gone…”

  1. Cathy Says:

    I have obviously similar memories of drive-ins and the ones we went to as kids here are gone now also. I have taken the kids a couple times while on vacation at the St. Lawrence though. It’s fun but not quite the big event it was for us to them.

  2. gary rith Says:

    I think my parents took me when I was tiny along with a carload to buck night at the drive in–hard to beat one dollar for five people to see the movies, and it wouldn’t matter that the kids fell asleep 🙂
    I remember going as a college student and trying to grope my girlfriend and all the rest of that fun stuff but it was super hot and the mosquitos were super hungry, so it sorta sucked that time….

  3. John Dorsey Says:

    I think my first drive-in movie was The Aristocats. Not quite Disney’s finest…

    We are lucky in that we have a great drive-in relatively close. Kids love it, mama loves it – picnic in the back, double feature with a movie for the kids, one for us (kids can usually be coaxed to sleep before too long)

    we have a blast a tleast once a summer but usually twice…


  4. ang Says:

    we still have one here, and on sundays its turned into a massive market place local veg and all sorts!!

  5. meredith Says:

    I spent my youth at the drive in.
    In high school you could stay all night.
    I love sofia’s movie!
    what a kid you have there!

  6. Cindy Gilliland Says:

    When our girls were little and we were broker than broke. We would take the pickup with the camper shell to the drive-in. Embarrassed to admit it, but we hid the girls in the back so we wouldn’t have to pay for them. LOL! Ahhhh.. The gold old days 🙂
    Sofia is so creative. I think she will either be an artist or a movie star when she grows up.

  7. cindy shake Says:

    When my sister and I were little in Southern CA, mom & dad took us all the time to the drive-ins. Our favorite part was wearing our jammies and before the movie playing on the playground located right under the giant screen. Believe it or not, when we moved up to Alaska in the early 70’s Anchorage had a drive-in and I remember everyone keeping their cars running in the winter! The silly speaker would be frozen to the cars window. Now we know how global warming started…

  8. Gordo Says:

    Ya gotte come up here, Jim. Drive-ins have been closed and sold all over North America, but what happens in Kingston? We expand ours. I think it’s up to three screens now. Certainly two. Thanks for the reminder, we have to take the boys. 🙂

  9. elfriede Says:

    Too bad about the drive-in. We have one that is also about a 40 minute drive, in Newberg, OR. Emma absolutely has to go at least once during the summer. Both kids actually stay awake for both films, and then when we’re crunching along in line to get out, all I hear are snores. Our drive-in features vintage ads and movie previews before and between movies. Fun! So, you just have to come out here next summer!

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