Thursday, April 4, 2013

A to Z Challenge Day 4

Well, here we are.  Day four of the A to Z Challenge. 

My choices for today were Dime Stores, Drive-In Theatres, Dick and Jane, and Dolls.

This was a tough one because I have such vivid memories about all of them, but I'm going to go with... (drum roll....)


The magical Drive-In.  It is such a shame that it is a thing of the past.

We had two drive-in-theatres in our town.  One was built in the Missouri River bottoms and the other at the outskirts of town (which now happens to be anything but the outskirts of town). 

The first movie I saw at the drive-in was Shane.  Yes, "Shane, come home...".  I don't really remember it.  What I do remember was the excitement.  "We're going to the drive-in, we're going to the drive-in!".  Dad popped pop corn and filled a small paper sack for each one of us.  For some reason I don't think mom came along.  We went to the Missouri River bottoms theatre.  This was the "good" theatre.  The other one tended to show not so family friendly shows, if you know what I mean. This was before the G to X rating system, but let me tell you, my parents had their own system and it was a strict one. 

I remember the sounds of children playing on the playground equipment, although it was off limits to us.  I remember the smells of the concession stand, thinking how cool it would be to be able to walk up to the window and order a hamburger and fries.  But we were perfectly content with our little bags of popcorn.  I thought it was so cool when dad attached the speaker to the partially rolled down window.  Cars were bigger in those days.  I'm pretty sure we were in a '52 Chevy, although how a detail like that would stick in my mind, is beyond me.  It was hard to see over the front seat... and it was sweltering hot in that river bottom .  One of the downside were the mosquitoes, which is why the windows weren't rolled down all the way. 

Many years late, Jim and I tackled the fun times of drive-in theatre dates.  Oh what times we had!  I'll spare you most of the details (my kids read my blog, you kow).  A couple of antics stand out in my mind, though.

In those days, we had very little date money.  I do mean VERY little.  Jim drove a Karmann ghia.  It had a tiny little trunk that could be accessed from outside or inside the car.  Inside there was a little latch that dropped the back seat down.  He was known as the guy who went to the drive-in movies alone.  Since I was a tiny little thing back in the day, I'd crawl into that tiny little trunk and hide.  Once he was parked well away from the ticket takers, he'd release the latch inside and I'd climb into the front seat.  We were such juveniles.


Then it was early Winter.  Since Jim's Karmann ghia didn't have a heater in it, we had borrowed his dad's old Studebaker Station Wagon. As with most movies we went to during those teen years, I don't remember the movie at all. Studebakers had what I think of as "little rear windows" that would slide, rather than roll down. That is the window we used to put the speaker cord through. As the credits of this unnamed movie rolled, we began the process of defogging the windows and replacing the speaker on its pole outside the car. There was a huge problem. The window had frozen shut on the cord. No matter what we tried, we could not slide that window away. Finally, out of desperation, Jim took his pocket knife, cut the cord, opened the car door and replaced the speaker on the pole. We drove away fast, like we were criminals.  Like I said, we were such juveniles.
The theatre on the Boulevard where the naughty and scary movies played was located down from the Dairy Queen.  Saturday nights found the DQ a very busy place.  Our High School crowd were known to park their cars facing the movie screen and sit on the hoods slurping ice cream cones, trying to catch a glimpse of the action.  No sound was needed to understand what was going on in THOSE movies!
Up next for Day 5 of the A to Z Challenge is the letter E.  I have only one choice for remembering the good ol' days.  Any guess what it might be?


Jenny said...

I loved the Drive-ins. I can't tell you how many people we used to sneak in as teens. There are a few left, but they're not as fun as they used to be. Love your pics and the story of your life. Thank you for sharing them with us.

Megan said...

I've never been to a drive in movie. However, my parents have told me that they once took my older sister when she was a toddler, and that at one point in the movie there was fire, and she just yelled "HOT".

Intense Guy said...

Eh eh eh... some one "Doing err..'things'" at the Drive-in... eh eh eh... :)

I sprained my brain though trying to figure out "how" in a Kharman Ghia!

Parsley said...

Oh! Another good one! We had a drive in. I was probably 12 when my MOM took my brother and me to see (gulp) Endless Love. Uhh...was not ready for that at that tender age. (Blush)

Akum said...

I have never been to a Drive-In but I have always wanted to go. Unfortunately, most people in my part of the planet doesn't even know what's a Drive in

Cheryl @ TFD said...

I remember the drive-ins! It's about the only time I got to see a movie when I was a kid. My mother loved the scary ones with the prehistoric monsters. ha! Hubby and I went a few times before we were married. They have a drive-in in Moberly, at least I think it's still open.

AliceKay said...

We used to have a drive-in theater nearby. Just on the other side of a fence from the theater was an A&W Drive-in restaurant. I saw some of the original "Texas Chainsaw Masacre" from that A&W. ( Both have closed up and have been demolished, and now there's a brand new Marriott hotel standing in that location.

Sylvia Ney said...

I LOVE your theme for this challenge! New follower here. I'm stopping by from the "A to Z" challenge and I look forward to visiting again.


Osage Bluff Quilter said...

Oh what memories you have stirred up in my mind! Especially from when we were dating. Oh and those mosquitoes at the Bridge drive in.

I have some wonder memories of Hwy 50 drive in, my best friend's Dad ran the projector there. So we spent many night in his station wagon watching movies there. RIP Mr Nentwig!

Loved your D, even if it wasn't DIME store!

The Wicked Writer said...

awww it's so nice reading about this, we didn't have drive in's in Ireland (not that I remember anyway), and watching old american movies, or even Grease would put me in such a doldrums as I so wanted to go to one.