Thursday, August 12, 2010

Of Movies and Drive Ins and Great Writing

Big fan of Big Hollywood.

A blog I read almost everyday. I relish the movie reviews, being a cinema fan down to my DNA. But this post at Big Hollywood, moved me not only for the spot-on description of Drive-In Movies, but also because I wish I could write this well. Like the sap that I am........I teared up at the beautifully crafted description of seeing a movie at a drive-in.........and the flashback to those movies of 1989.

Please click the link and read it........and then my personal comments will pale by comparison, but I think you'll like it............BRAVO John Nolte..........you are my new hero.

The greatest movie summer of my life.

There are two drive-in movie theaters embedded in my brain. The first is the North Star, just blocks from where I spent the carefree days of my early childhood.



Dad and Mom would pack up the Little Bro and I (in our jammies, no less), and pop a big grocery sack full of popcorn........hop in the car and off to the drive-in movies. Every once in a while we'd get to visit the playground in front of the screen, but usually we arrived just in time for the previews and cheesy animated commercials enticing you to the concession stand. The back seat of the Buick Skylark was plenty comfy for movie watching, as well as sleeping during the second feature (yes, they ran two movies). I seem to recall that the first movie was always "family friendly" as we would say now, but the second feature was less so, so Mom would have us lay down and go to sleep. I did my best to stay awake, though my eyes were closed, and to try and hear, whatever it was that I wasn't supposed to experience. Sleep won, and I fell asleep with no new knowledge.

The second drive-in attachment for me was the Havana Drive-In, which fell within the boundaries of my high school haunts. ( I couldn't find a picture of it). Close to Buckingham Square ( a mall we hung out at) the best part of the Havana Drive-In was what we called the "Free Movies". Just like a scene from the movie, Dazed and Confused, we'd be out with friends, see someone we knew, they'd roll up in their car, and people would say......let's go to the "Free Movies".

If you knew where to go, behind the King Soopers, there was a dirt path you could drive into, and find yourself behind the back fence of the Havana Drive-In. If you were lucky the back rows of the drive-in were empty, you could see the movie (at a distance) and hear the sound from the unused speakers still hanging on their stands. Free movie, friends in cars.....everything was great till the Aurora Police showed up and told us to "move along".

Lest you think we always partook of the free movie variety, we did pay to get in on a regular basis. Vintage pickups were popular with guys at my high school, they backed them into the spaces and put lawn chairs in the bed. Havana Drive-In made us pay per person on the weekends, and yes there was frequent trunk smuggling and fence jumping. I personally never did these things, but yes, I was involved. (Sorry, Dad).

The whole experience was invigorating. Flickering images, fresh air, tinny speakers, surrrounded by distractions.

Movie magic.

1 comment:

Gradual Dazzle said...

Love-love-love the BigHollywood blog... and as for drive-in movies, I loved 'em. The last drive-in movie I ever got to see, though, was the original Superman. My mom and I decided to go to the drive-in in southwestern Oklahoma City, not far from where we lived in Moore.

Good times. SRSLY good times.

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