Cars at the Drive-in

I have a lot of memories tied up in old drive-in movie theaters. There once were 5 or 6 of them located here in town or a short drive away. Loml and I had our first date at a drive-in. The first time I saw the northen lights they were framing the screen, like a set of stage curtains. One drive-in was near the local fair grounds, where on Friday nights they held stock car races. The movie was interrupted periodically by the roaring of race cars as they rounded the turn at the east end of the track.

…and then over night, they were all gone. No drive-ins anywhere. Wiped out by strip malls, parking lots, and other things were deemed to be of more value, by whoever it is that decides these things.

…gone but one. One drive-in, so lowly, so remote, that it escaped the notice of those who wanted to destroy all evidence of our once unsophisticated entertainment history. Forgotten it sat just off the interstate, surrounded by fields of corn and beans, and continued to show moves, on hot summer nights, fireflies blinking in the night sky and an occasional passing truck sounding the air horn, in salute.

We watched the new Disney movie “Cars” there last night and I was struck with the idea that I was watching the this movie in the best possible place. It was made to be shown in a drive-in, and in this drive-in, with the interstate traffic passing behind the screen, the atmosphere was perfect.

The right film, in the right place, at the right time.


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