Posts Tagged ‘Automobile’

The Drive In Movie EVENT

July 27, 2011

Passing through Newport last week, I remembered reading that there is still an open Drive-In Movie there.  I didn’t go looking for it but the thought certainly brought back memories for me.  There was a time when there was a Drive-In Movie on Highway 99 near every town.  Larger towns might have one at each end and towns that weren’t on the highway still had a Drive in Movie nearby.  They were part of an era, a time when more of us had automobiles than ever, when we considered them a second home and could hardly leave them behind.  Drive in Restaurants, ice cream or root beer stands,  and Drive In Movie theaters for entertainment flourished for two decades, sometimes longer.   A few of the Drive In fast food eateries still do well.  

When I was in college we occasionally went as a couple,  on the weekend if there wasn’t a game, dance or something we wanted to see at the regular theater.  Not often, my guy was a working musician most weekends. 

It was later, when we had children that the Starlite Drive In Movie on Highway 99 turned into a BIG EVENT.  It was one place where we could take a baby and know any fussing wouldn’t disturb others.  Each car had  its own speaker with volume controls. 

As our family grew, the Drive -In- Theater turned into more.  It was a way to have a family evening with entertainment.  Central Point was usually  hot  during the summer so we could load snacks and sometimes sandwiches, drinks, probably Kool Aid and fruit into bags to take with use, drive to the theater as the sun was going down and picnic there.  Between the snack stand and the front row of cars, there was a grassy area which almost always had young children playing tag, or statue.  As our babies grew, one or two of the children were ours  so we supervised from the car or standing on the side.  Often they had school friends there to play with but they enjoyed the park-like area even when there weren’t children they knew.  Or maybe it was the being up past bed time they enjoyed.   The preparations for going always included pillows, lightweight bedding, and comfortable clothes that could be slept in.

There were evenings when that play time was more important to the children than the movie.  I think we always went on evenings whan stories like Old Yeller, or another animal show, maybe a Disney feature, was playing first and  left before the later movie, more likely to be adult.   Almost always one or two of the youngest fell asleep before the end of the first movie.