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Return of the Drive-In, in 3-D!!!

By the Epopt in MLP
Wed Feb 07, 2001 at 09:59:03 AM EST
Tags: Movies (all tags)

Those (three or four) of us over forty years old recall that once upon a time, thousands of drive-in movie theaters dotted the U.S. landscape. Sadly, that number has dwindled to about 600. But the glory days are nostalgically recalled in a new series of DVDs that recreate a night at the drive-in, from the introductory "Star-Spangled Banner" to intermission countdowns and snack-bar come-ons.

The inaugural disk of Elite Entertainment's Drive-In Discs contains a horror show double feature, Attack Of the Giant Leeches (1959) and The Screaming Skull (1958). DVD's superior sound and picture capabilities take the back seat on this disk. A secondary audio track presents the entire program in "Distort-O" which transforms your state-of-the-art home sound system into a drive-in speaker, with the low-fidelity audio signal goes only to the front left speaker of your system. It also includes ambient noises such as chirping crickets, slamming car doors, and tires rolling on gravel to add to the atmosphere.

The Betty Boop and Popeye cartoons that play between features are nothing special, but there are more vintage drive-in treats, including "Let's All Go To the Lobby," which recently was inducted into the Library of Congress's National Film Registry. Anyone who ever made a mad dash to the snack bar will fondly remember the intermission countdown in which menu items perform circus acts, like the acrobatic hot dog that leaps with relish into a hot-dog bun. There's also a public-service announcement cautioning "young lovers" to "not allow the Love Bug to affect your conduct while in this theater."

The DVD also offers coming attractions for two films that might be on the next Drive-In Discs, scheduled for release this spring: The Wasp Woman and The Giant Gila Monster. I can't wait.

This DVD can be ordered from Amazon.com or Moviesunlimited.com.


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Drive-ins ...
o ... are ancient history that only geezers talk about. 8%
o ... are lousy places to see a movie. 12%
o ... ruined the morals of America. 5%
o ... are a great place for a date. 33%
o ... are where I lost my virginity. 1%
o ... are where I was conceived. 1%
o ... sound like fun! 32%
o ... uh, what's a drive-in? 3%

Votes: 56
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o Library of Congress's
o National Film Registry
o Amazon.com
o Also by the Epopt

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Return of the Drive-In, in 3-D!!! | 19 comments (18 topical, 1 editorial, 0 hidden)
Ah, the drive in... (none / 0) (#1)
by rusty on Wed Feb 07, 2001 at 02:35:35 AM EST

I was *just* barely old enough to catch the tail end of the drive-in era. I remember I saw Superman and Raiders of the Lost Ark first at Drive-ins. Although I'm pretty sure I fell asleep during RotLA. IMDB says Raiders was 1981, which would have made me about 5 (I'm think it was new at the time), so I probably missed most of the subtleties of the experience.

Not the real rusty
Being a bit older... (5.00 / 1) (#9)
by iGrrrl on Wed Feb 07, 2001 at 08:34:07 AM EST

...than Rusty, my fondest drive-in memory was the first Star Wars movie. It was a warm, clear Florida night, with stars behind the screen. For some shots, it looked as if the sky and the movie's starfield were continuous. Very cool. I must have been in about 8th grade.

You cannot have a reasonable conversation with someone who regards other people as toys to be played with. localroger
remove apostrophe for email.
[ Parent ]

I remember those (none / 0) (#12)
by 0xdeadbeef on Wed Feb 07, 2001 at 08:59:32 AM EST

I saw both Star Wars and Ice Pirates at a drive-in. I was too young to remember Star Wars, so the latter seemed to fill in the memory necessary to understand Return of the Jedi. Needless to say, I was a very confused about the saga until Star Wars was released on video.

And my god, another movie I remember seeing at a drive-in was Dirt, released in 1979. It is a documentary about people doing crazy stuff with dirt bikes and dune buggies that flat-out scared the crap out of me.

[ Parent ]

Ah ha! (none / 0) (#17)
by 0xdeadbeef on Wed Feb 07, 2001 at 12:27:14 PM EST

I found pictures of the drive-in of my youth, thanks to a link posted above. Behold the mighty North 85 Twin Drive-in!

[ Parent ]
God DAMN that is cool (none / 0) (#2)
by fluffy grue on Wed Feb 07, 2001 at 02:37:29 AM EST

And with my front-projection theatre system, I think it'd be really damned cool. :)

Hehe, I'll have to get this if I ever see it in a bargain bin or something. It sounds like Reefer Madness, only actually funny. (Reefer Madness, on the other hand, seems like it'd only be watchable, not to mention funny, while high as a kite.)
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]

at least one good drive-in remains in Rhode Island (none / 0) (#3)
by Justinfinity on Wed Feb 07, 2001 at 03:09:13 AM EST

the Rustic Drive-in in North Smithfeild, RI, USA used to be a porno drive-in. but concerned mothers in the neighboring houses got it shut down :-P then someone bought the lot, add 2 more screens, and a radio based sound system.

admission is $10 per carload and every showing is a double feature. when i went with my family, i'd often bring a portable stereo or my walkman and watch one of the other screens while my parents ans sister watched disney flicks. got to see Basic Instinct or something when i was 15 using this technique :-P.

even if i didn't watch a different film, the radio sound alone is awesome. you tune in to low FM numbers (88.9, 91.3 91.9 IIRC), or even a couple AM stations too. if you have a good car stereo it was great.

this place really packs 'em in during the summer. traffic backs up on route 146 for up to a mile. lot's of minivans packed with 10-12 people too :-P

Here in the Phoenix area... (none / 0) (#18)
by cr0sh on Thu Feb 08, 2001 at 06:04:22 PM EST

We have a drive in similar to what you describe (IIRC, it is in the Tempe/Scottsdale area) - several screens, FM stereo sound, etc. Great place to go see a movie.

I remember one time me and a bunch of guys went with one of my friends to go see a movie (hell, I can't even remember the movie now - must've sucked) - we took my freind's BUS (I shit you not!). He had removed all the seats inside, and just threw a bunch of beanbags and folding camp chairs in the back. He added a cheap stereo to the inside, and wired a PA system to the outside. We parked the bus broadside to the screen (in the back), and set the chairs out front and inside the bus - had a blast!

[ Parent ]

Fourty foot tall apes ! (none / 0) (#5)
by Greggbert on Wed Feb 07, 2001 at 06:17:32 AM EST

I still remember dragging my Father out to the drive in to see an all night Planet Of The Apes showing at a local drive in theater out on Long Island when I was about eight. Those places were great as a kid. You would wear your pajamas and go down to the swingsets below the screen and play while the adults watched the movie. Of course, you couldn't let your kids do that in most areas of the US today.

Those were certainly days filled with more innocence.
If you don't understand anything that I have posted, please accept that I ate paste as a small child...
Drive In Cinema. (none / 0) (#6)
by curious on Wed Feb 07, 2001 at 06:51:01 AM EST

a horror show double feature, Attack Of the Giant Leeches (1959) and The Screaming Skull (1958).

 Bring it on.

 I am a great afficianado of schlocky horror movies, and the drive in was, long ago, their native habitat. Drive-ins, however, were dead in this country long before I was born, but if you know the right places to go wandering, you can still find them... standing tall and bleached in the sun, amidst huge fields of gold, dead grass like ships left out to rot.

 Something in me cries out to see drive in movies, I think it might be residual from playing It Came From The Desert and the Martian Pinball 2K from Williams too much, and I will have to race out and get this when it goes local.

 My only question, will they do a version of Plan 9 from Outer Space? I already own two copies on VCR, but DVD would be a treat.

 And now for two semi-relevant rantlets:

 While having "Monkey Magic" come out on DVD here was a great step forward, where is the rest of the Great Hong-Kong Movie Pantheon? Where is City On Fire? Where is Mr Vampire? Where is Magic Cop? Where is anything with Samo Hung in it?

 Speaking of 3D, I'm considering the idea of mounting two webcams on a fixed board, a set distance apart, so as to present stereographic vision ( of course, the two images will have to be mashed together to provide some kind of atomicity, or the whole megillah will get out of synch... ). Anyone tried this before?

"Got History?" -- The Prelinger Archive of Ephemeral Movies.

Where art though Samo? (none / 0) (#7)
by Rand Race on Wed Feb 07, 2001 at 08:13:52 AM EST

"Where is anything with Samo Hung in it?"

Magnificent Butcher is out on DVD. Woo-Ping Yuen, Kwan Tak-Hing, and Samo... fairly good stuff.

"Question with boldness even the existence of God; because if there be one, He must approve the homage of Reason rather than that of blindfolded Fear." - Thomas Jefferson
[ Parent ]

death of the drive-in? (5.00 / 1) (#8)
by Anonymous 242 on Wed Feb 07, 2001 at 08:27:19 AM EST

Those (three or four) of us over forty years old recall that once upon a time, thousands of drive-in movie theaters dotted the U.S. landscape. Sadly, that number has dwindled to about 600.

Wow. All six hundred must be here in Ohio because all the cities here seem to have at least three or four of them still up and running.

Probably (none / 0) (#14)
by zantispam on Wed Feb 07, 2001 at 09:49:45 AM EST

There's exactly one in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. One. The Astro down off of Loop 12.

Y'all want to donate a drive in to a town that could use some more?

Free Duxup!
[ Parent ]
any of these close by? (none / 0) (#15)
by Anonymous 242 on Wed Feb 07, 2001 at 12:04:46 PM EST

Drive In Movie Theatres In Texas

[ Parent ]
I vaguely remember (none / 0) (#10)
by spacejack on Wed Feb 07, 2001 at 08:44:24 AM EST

... seeing Star Wars at the drive in. A also remember annoying the hell out of my dad when I had to go pee just as Obi-Wan and Darth Vader were having it out and maintained that no, it could not wait, and I didn't know why I didn't go before.

(BTW, catch phrase of kids in the 70's: "I dunno". Had the advantage of answering any tough parental question in 2 simple words without a lot of room for argument.)

You must not be looking for them... (none / 0) (#11)
by theboz on Wed Feb 07, 2001 at 08:48:55 AM EST

There is a drive-in near my grandmother's house in Springfield, Ohio...there is one near my parents in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. I would agree that they are not as common as the indoor movie theater, but there's still plenty of them out there. They play new movies though, not black and white stuff from the 1950's.


Ackkk (1.00 / 2) (#13)
by da_unicorn on Wed Feb 07, 2001 at 09:42:28 AM EST

You mention Amazon (-1) and DVD (-1) so I dumped it. Err,,..

anyone want to relive the experience first hand? (5.00 / 1) (#16)
by Anonymous 242 on Wed Feb 07, 2001 at 12:12:16 PM EST

www.driveintheater.com has a list of operational drive-in theaters in the US, Canada, Australia, and Germany. You can search by state, making it a cinch to find the closest drive-in.

video special effect: fog (none / 0) (#19)
by anonymous cowerd on Mon Feb 12, 2001 at 07:48:45 PM EST

School night - got to get up early tomorrow and go off to HS, but for what, and who cares? Fogged car windows, from condensed humid breath, from breathing hard, after kissing, and kissing kissing and kissing, then touching and stroking all along the contours of the outside of the clothing, then petting between the buttons and up under the edges of the clothing, then layerwise shedding the clothing, then finally full fledged springs-shifting car shaking (shot shocks) fucking across the cloth bench seat, O God hope it don't break but who cares, who cares? now, now! atop or beneath or entwined or intermingled with your teenaged love object, spiced with that slim chance of being caught exposed, that adds that extra pleasure to all the overall pleasure.

Buddy, recreate that on a DVD and I'll buy a whole damn stack of them, but you can't.

I love the material here at K5. Hey Rusty, when did you first realize you were running a pr0n website?

Yours WD "pant pant" K - WKiernan@concentric.net

"This calm way of flying will suit Japan well," said Zeppelin's granddaughter, Elisabeth Veil.

Return of the Drive-In, in 3-D!!! | 19 comments (18 topical, 1 editorial, 0 hidden)
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