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.