Sunday, September 5, 2010

Take me out to the drive-in

Drive-In Theatres. 

Growing up in the era of the Drive-In, you would think my mind would be whirling with memories of that magical time of loading the whole family into the 52 Chevy to see the latest picture show.  Because my family was a little different than most, with parents who didn’t like to go to the movies and most certainly didn’t like to sit in their cars to watch a movie, I don’t recall going to movies much as a child.

There were two Drive-In Theatres locally.  One was located in the flood plains of the Missouri River.  A summer trip to see a favorite flick most certainly meant returning home with arms and legs covered with mosquito bites.

The other Drive-In was located off “the boulevard” in town and featured the racier movies of the day, although  I’m sure they were very tame by today’s standards.  The Dairy Queen was situated on a hill across the way from the movie screen.  As teens, a typical Friday night would find us sitting on the hoods of our cars, licking an ice cream cone, while trying to catch a glimpse of some skin.  I guess the theory was that no sound was needed when the movie consisted of making out and prancing around almost naked. 

When I was six or so, dad loaded us up to see the movie Shane.  Mom stayed home – no mosquitoes were going to feed on her tender flesh!  Preparations for going to the Drive-In included popping corn and filling a paper sack with it for each of us.  There was no money for frivolities like the concession stand.  I was giddy with excitement at the thought of going to the Drive In.  Unfortunately, at age six, I remember little of the experience.  I’m pretty sure I ate my popcorn, was confused over the story line of the show, fell asleep early on, and remember the line “Shane! come back!!”  If memory serves me correctly, I was rubbing sleep out of my eyes and the movie was ending. 

During our dating years of the late 60’s and early 70’s, Jim and I would often go to the Drive-In.  Mostly, I have no recollection of what we saw.  Imagine that! 

We had very little money and often couldn’t afford the cost of two tickets.  The solution was that I would crawl into the trunk of the Karmann Ghia pictured below and Jim would Drive In alone.

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Sneaking friends into the Drive In was a trick older than Moses, and checking trunks of cars was routine.  However, nobody would consider checking the trunk of this little car.  The back seat folded down and I’d crawl from the trunk into the car without anyone ever the wiser.  It never occurred to either of us that what we were doing was wrong! 

Since the Karmann Ghia had no heater, we’d borrow Jim’s dad’s Studebaker when the weather turned frigid.  I remember well the night that we steamed the windows to the point of freezing them shut.  When it came time to remove the speaker, no matter how hard we tried, we could not roll the window down.  Finally out of desperation, we cut the tube.  I was scared to death alarms would go off or something!  Craziness.

Research indicates there are still Drive-In Theatres in operation in Missouri, but none close to where I live.  I’m more into watching my movies in the comfort of my home or occasionally going to the indoor Cinema.  My drive-in days are over.

This whole treck down memory lane was inspired by Intenseguy's post entitled The Old Drive In.  It is a good read, with a good dose of history included in the memory.

18 comments:

jewelzmomof4 said...

There use to be a Drive In in Macon but it got torn down a few years ago by a tornado. TMI on fogging the windows up LOL j/k but I can just see you freaking out thinking the alarm is going to sound when you cut the tube LOL.

Missouri Gal Nicole said...

My husband had one of those cars!
I recall going to the Cedar City drive in before moving in '75. We saw Creature from the Black Lagoon there. When I'd get scared, I'd hide on the floor boards.
One of the drive in's I went in HS, to is still open in Carthage. We used to pack people into my families station wagon (I got stuck driving that boat in HS) and would head to Carthage. Or Webb City. We also had on on Rangeline and 32nd in Joplin. I miss the good old days!!!
As Bob Hope would say, "Thanks for the memories."

Vicki Lane said...

My family went to the drive in often back in the Fifties. I mainly remember Martin and Lewis movies and Francis the Talking Mule.

Osage Bluff Quilter said...

Okay this will be weird before I finish.

I remember the last movie we went to at the Bridge Drive in (the mosquito haven) It was Gone with the Wind and we left early . . way too many bites.

I always got to go to the Hwy 50 drive in, my girl friend's Dad, Mr Nentwig ran the projector there. We'd go in the back of his renault station wagon with our brown paper bag of popcorn from home.

He even had a theatre in his basement and would show movies. Usually home movies.

So while ago, I called the DIL as she was coming home from a weekend in south St Louis. She was telling me what they did all weekend, Saturday night they went to a drive in. She doesn't remember the surburb it was in. They took blankets and sat outside the SUV.

Too weird!!!

AliceKay said...

I enjoyed this post as much as Iggy's. :-)

Drive-In movies brings back lots of memories for me. When I was a kid, we used to go quite often. One time my parents loaded up all four of us girls, after filling up those big brown paper grocery bags full of popcorn, and drove over to see "PT 109"...the movie about John Kennedy. When we got to the drive-in, there weren't very many people there. Dad thought that was a bit odd. Much to my parents dismay, that movie had ended the night before and a horror movie was set to begin. Needless to say, my dad left as soon as he saw what was coming up and he got the admission price back when he told the people at the gate what happened. The people who owned the drive-in for many years were friends of my parents.

There was an A&W Drive-In Restaurant along the highway in Wysox, complete with the carhops serving your food and drinks on window trays. (that building still stands and is still a restaurant) Right behind the A&W was the drive-in theatre. There was a big white fence that separated the two. Kids used to go hang out at the A&W and try to watch movies thru the fence. I remember one time Terri and I went to the A&W to get those "frosty mugs" of rootbeer and some fries after we went bowling, and "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" (the original movie) was playing. I saw some pretty freaky stuff and then said let's get out of here. (i still hate horror movies to this day)

Thanks for the trip down my memory lane, Deanna. I can honestly say I didn't steam up many windows at the Drive-In, but I loved hearing your stories. :) Sneaking into a drive-in movie was wrong? Say it ain't so! LOL

Tonight's temp is predicted to get down to 45 degrees here. That would be pretty chilly at a drive-in movie. I sure do hope you send some warmer weather my way soon. I'm not ready for these temps just yet.

I hope you're having a great holiday weekend. *hugs*

That corgi :) said...

I enjoyed Iggy's post about drive ins and enjoyed your's too, Deanna. I do remember "kids" stuffing into the truck to avoid paying to get into drive ins. I remember popping popcorn for the regular indoor theaters when you could take treats in and not pay $4.25 for a bottle of water (LOL). Such great simple days back then I do believe :)

thanks for sharing your memories with us :)

betty

Rita said...

Looks like Iggy started a trend! Love hearing your memories, too. :)

I remember those cars!! I thought they were the coolest thing! So small!

Thanks for sharing! :)

Funny in My Mind said...

On my way to Tulsa, my sister texted me and said that the Admiral Twin drive in in Tulsa had burned down!!!
We hung out there all the time growing up.
The Outsiders movie was partially filmed there!
Crazy and sad!

Rural Rambler said...

I have very fond memories of going to the drive-in. We went to the Pevely 61 South and Mom always popped popcorn in bacon grease, salted it good and stuck in a brown paper bag. As I got older we tried the sneakin' in stuff and all the goofy things kids do. We took our cherry cigars and would just be totally obnoxious. Now, I would want to smack a kid that was like me!

Thanks for those memories Deanna, man they just come flooding back this morning!

Fickle Cattle said...

We did that as an event once for our school organization. It rained, so that kind of sucked. But it was still pretty cool. :-)

ficklecattle.blogspot.com

Toriz said...

I'm sure you weren't alone in your sneaking in tricks. Not that I'd know though, since I've never been to a drive in movie.


We did used to be allowed to go in free to the local cinema though. The owner figured that with my poor eyesight, Wayne's poor hearing, and Carl's lack of sight we couldn't enjoy the movie to its full potential so it wasn't fair to make us pay. Great news for us. The place changed hands about 6 years ago though, so I have to pay now, but I got to see movies for free all through childhood, so I'm not complaining. ;)

Lynn said...

I loved this post Punkn, and how funny you would hide in the trunk I can just picture that now, thanks for the laugh. I hope all is well and you are enjoying this Labor Day HUGS

Steve Skinner said...

I was raised in New England and my lasting memories of the drive in involve the mosquitoes and the film clip that advertised the greasy food sold at the snack bar.

Queenie Jeannie said...

You naughty thing you, lol!! I love that car - wowsers!!!

The Farmer's Daughter said...

Thanks for the walk down memory lane, Deana! I sure remember the drive-ins. My mother loved to go to the movies that featured the pre-historic monsters...LOL! Or the scary ones starring Vincent Price and made us kids sit through them.

My husband and I went to quite a few
when we were dating, but I don't think we saw much of the movie...!

Have a good day,
Cheryl

Intense Guy said...

Oh my... you really frosted that window! I can't imagine what you were up to that got the windows so steamy!! :)

In fairness, my last drive-in memory is of one in Paris, Illinois where a car load of college guys and maybe some beer (bringing in your own beer was frowned on, but one of those college guys brought beer everywhere he went).

I don't recall the name of the movie nor its plot (since it, of course, had NO plot)...

I remember two things - one was the popcorn was greasy.

jewelzmomof4 said...

oh yeah and I LOVE the car!!!! I remember my first car was just like that but it was green and white. I miss that car "sniff" "tear". One day I WILL have that car again!!!!

junyah said...

Remeber when you drove in and sat there waiting for the show to start,a little around dusk,somebody would start blowing a horn someplace, and then somebody else and then it was the whole gang.Well i had me AROOGAAAAAAA horn in my old chevy and i hit the button and pretty soon somebody way over on the other side had one and he gave a blast, and then somebody else, pretty soon there was about dozons of them everywhere , and here i sat thinking i had one of a kind. lmao just my luck......LOL. Then there was the time when after the Movie was over , i started up my car and the horn started blowing and it stuck on. i had to open the hood and unhook the wire. (most everybody blows the horn Before the show not afterwards) embarrassing....lol HUgs U JR