Memories of drive-in visitors of varying demographics

26 Jan
English: drive-in movies 2008 in brussels with...
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NAME: Sandra McKie

AGE: 63
OCCUPATION: Assistant Manager/ Accountant
 
I grew up in a large family, so we didn’t have money for going put. One summer my grandfather paid for us to have a holiday at rosebud. One night my father took only the older children to the rosebud drive-in, we had never been before and it was very exciting to be allowed to stay up late and go out in the car in our pajamas. We played on the swings before the movie started, the film we saw was chitty chitty bang bang. This is one of the strongest memories I have from my childhood as it was such an unusual thing for us to do.

As a young adult I would often go to the drive-in at Thomaston, where I lived with my friends, we would take several cars and park next to each other. I remember driving over the gravel mounds where the speakers are set higher so that your car tilts up towards the screen.

We would go into the snack bar and take the food back to our cars. In summer the movies started really late because they had to wait until it got dark to start. In winter the windscreen would keep fogging up as it was freezing because you had to leave the gap in the window where the speaker hung.

We were so upset when they closed it as the government bought the land to build the ring road.

 
NAME: Matthew Cornock
AGE: 24
OCCUPATION: Civil Engineer
 
I remember the first time I went to the Drive-in. I remember the question “do you want to go to the Drive-in?” and thinking they were a thing of the past. 

Pulling up to the drive in was surreal, like taking a trip back in time. The cinema had a driveway and what looked like a toll gate with a car stuck on the roof. The employees were all dressed as though they were stuck in the 70’s and came to your car, with a smile, so you could buy your tickets. I wasn’t sure what the protocol was, but I can recall being told that my movie was playing on screen 3, and being given a frequency ticket explaining how to listen to the movie. I tuned my radio immediately and remember hearing really old music, songs I wasn’t familiar with.  

Rather than the conventional finding of a seat I was then required to find a park. The ground was all undulated as to create an angle so that no car in front would become an aesthetic obstruction and there were strange poles to either side of the car I can only assume had been there for decades, relics of the sound system of old I can only assume. 

I remember when I was finally parked, my instincts came over me and I automatically checked my phone was on silent and stopped talking only to realize a few seconds later it was completely unnecessary, I was going to be watching the movie from my own personal space and I could do whatever I want.

Once settled I figured the next step was to get popcorn and a drink. So I started towards what I thought was obviously the “candy bar”. Turns out it was like a 70’s style restaurant with checker plate tiles and arcade games. The waitresses were old, they had probably been working the same job since the place opened so many decades ago and I found it hard to believe they ever changed their uniform.

I returned to my car and the atmosphere was unlike anything I had experienced before. People were everywhere and the same music was playing loudly from all the surrounding cars. People were sitting in Ute trays, in the back of 4wd’s with the back doors open and on camping chairs with fold out tables all their to watch the same film.

 I can’t remember what the movie was but sure enough it came to an end, all the cars simultaneously started up in a mad rush to not be inconvenienced by the possible 5 minute delay in exiting the movies. Many cars stuttering as the batteries struggled to hold up. So when the movie was finally over, we just simply drove back to the 21st century.

 
NAME: Leigh Thomas
AGE: 35
OCCUPATION: Electrician
 
 I remember watching “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” at the drive-in when I was a teenager. I will never forget when, at the very moment the first bloody chainsaw killing was occurring, some other movie patron started up his own chainsaw (that, apparently, was in the drunk of his car)! No, he wasn’t a killer, he was playing a prank. The type of prank you could not get away with today! Seems no one has a sense of humour any more!
 
Usually, I went to the drive-in with my girlfriend. “Back in the day”-as they like to say-young couples would attend the drive-ins to make out, and yes, maybe do other things as well! On many occasions, numerous couples (who were all friends) would park their cars side-by-side and party together during the first movie, and then quietly disappear to their own cars during the second one.
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One Response to “Memories of drive-in visitors of varying demographics”

  1. 1mnsc January 29, 2012 at 9:39 am #

    Please add your own experiences, memories and thoughts on drive-in cinema!

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