When was the last time you saw a movie at a Drive-In Theater? Did you even know that there are still drive-ins operating these days? Better yet, some dark drive-ins are re-opening! And no, they're not showing porn! With new extra-bright projection systems and super clear FM radio sound broadcast through your car's radio, the Drive-In experience isn't quite like that scene from Grease anymore (but's its really not that different either).
After Max was born, Liz and I had to drastically cut back on the number of movies we went to the cinema to see. Eventually, when we moved from Austin to Cary, we discovered the drive-in as a great alternative. The kids can play, talk continuously, go to sleep, whatever...and they don't disturb anyone else. We can take our own food and save a bit of cash and if we get there early enough, the kids can play on the playground and wear themselves out before the movie starts.
There are certain movies that we've seen at the drive-in that were just perfect for that setting (Spider-Man, The Hulk, X2: X-Men United). Of course, now that Max and Molly are getting older, we have to be more careful about what we go to see. I remember once when I was a kid watching Saturday Night Fever from the backseat of the car when I was supposed to be asleep!
Here in Durham, the Starlite is our local drive-in. We used to frequent it often but in August 2004 the screen burned to the ground and owner had no insurance to cover the loss. Fortunately, the community chipped in and helped to rebuild the screen and the Starlite
recently re-opened. We haven't been back since it re-opened, but we hope to get there soon. One unique thing about the Starlite is that it may be the only drive-in in America that has a gun shop in the concession stand! (Note, the gun shop is only open during the day when the screen is dark).
If you're feeling a bit nostalgic or just need a diversion to occupy the kids, find out if there's an operating drive-in near you and whatever you do, DO NOT MISS THE DANCING HOT DOG!