An Ode to the Death of Drive-Ins

MovieRantby Mick Joest

Above is a picture of my local drive-in. Established in 1955, it was a part of the Drive-in boom and has since grown and now boasts five screens, the last being installed in 1995. For $8 bucks an adult ($4 for kids), you can enter the expansive grass lot, park your car in front of a screen, and be treated to two of ten movies. It's amazing that in the year 2012 my girlfriend and I saw The Avengers (week after opening) and John Carter and didn't pay over $20 bucks between us. It's also sadd that it won't be around much longer.

While I have no knowledge on the financial state of Holiday Drive-In, there is no denial that since its heyday in the 50s of 4,000 locations it has shrunk to a measly 371 nationally. The reason? Digital projection is expensive, movie rentals caught on, and when you show a movie outside, night is really the only showing. 

I love my local drive-in, but when I sit in my Ford Contour staring at the giant white washed screen prior to showtime, the same thought always enters my mind. I look to the families seated in the backs of trucks, the children playing in the playground below the screen and I wonder why there aren't more. I smell the hamburgers and hot dogs and the glow of the projector streaming across the star light and I wish there were more. I turn on the radio and tune into cinematic gold and sit captivated among hundreds of others as we all sit in silence enjoying a once great American tradition...and I am saddened that there aren't more.

Email Me: Twitter: @MickJoest

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