I just went to a drive in sunday night that has been in operation since 1950.Times have changes tho and while I went to this same drive in forty four years ago to see the good the bad and the ugly and tony anthony in his stranger spaghetti films,this time it was kiddie films brave and madagascar.The drive in is the palace gardens drive in in indiana pennsylvania home of jimmy stewart.I did see jimmy’s film of fools parade there back in 1971 but any of his westerns from 1950 on including broken arrow and winchester 73 might have played here.Like myself,drive ins are an ancient old fossil relic.It gives me comfort to do what I did forty five years ago.In fact more so because it is the same drive in.
Researching the book, I’ve become fascinated by the context these films existed in when they were new — drive-ins, giant movie palaces, twin bills, re-releases, etc. For instance, I saw an ad this morning where The Parson And The Outlaw (1958) was paired with A Night To Remember (1958), the great Titanic film. Oddball stuff like that has really effected my take on these films.
In a lot of ways, I’ve never been a huge fan of drive-ins as a way to WATCH a film. But as an experience, it’s hard to beat. Taking our family’s Chevy station wagon to the Forest Drive-In here in Raleigh for the two Terence Hill Trinity pictures was a big event — as was the summer movie series that loaded the giant Cardinal theater with over a hundred kids for Godzilla movies on Saturday mornings.
Those kinds of things, both mine and ones you describe, make a trip to the multiplex seem so dull and lifeless.
Toby, I used to hang out at the Drive-In alot during the 1960′s and 1970′s. Recently I put my memories of the good and bad at the Drive-In into a article called “Happy Birthday to the Drive-In”. It can be read at http://mysteryfile.com/blog/?p=17790