endangered species: drive-ins

view from the booth
I love going to see movies at the drive-in. It is a much more relaxed, social environment than a regular movie theater. Everyone arrives early to set-up camps. Chairs, blankets, coolers and toys are organized while adults mingle with their neighbors for the evening. Children control the area between the screen and the cars. Girls perform unison cartwheels and handstands while boys throw footballs and tackle each other. Small children giggle and run freely under the watchful eyes of every person there. The back rows are avoided by everyone except the teenagers. The equipment is not modern and the food is not for careful dieters, but nobody cares. For that frozen moment in time, it is a happy car town.

The doomsday clock is counting down toward the end of the Midtown Drive-In in Harriman, Tennessee. In less than 5 years, the theater will be put out of business by the hospital that is being built next door. Hospitals have bright lights that glow all night. The only lighting that drive-ins need are the sparkling stars in the sky over your head. Last weekend, we even had a shooting star to enhance the atmosphere. Sometimes in life, you only recognize in retrospect the moments that were sweet and priceless. Every time we spend an evening at the drive-in, we smile at each other and know that this IS one of the good times. This summer, spend one evening at the drive-in with your family. In the blink of an eye, the drive-ins will be gone and your children will be grown.

5 thoughts on “endangered species: drive-ins

  1. Awesome.

    It’s at least two hours to the nearest drive in, for us, and it’s new; built by folks that didn’t want to see them disappear entirely.

    I remember many, many nights at the drive in, from very young through high school, and miss it a lot.

  2. The closest one here is about 1/2 hour or so away. And it’s the only one left in existence. Sad, that…

    I remember in Cleveland as a kid we’d load up the woody and get on our pj’s, make popcorn, etc…

  3. None left in Dallas. The one in my hometown in Mississippi was damaged by Katrina so bad they decided not to rebuild it. A shame. I spent many a college weekend night there watching Rocky Horror and chugging beer with brothers.

  4. I consider myself lucky because I live not even two miles away from a Drive-In, with no plans of closing it down. I just haven’t had the gumption to take my toddler yet. I’m afraid there would be no movie watching at all, just Chloe chasing.

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