Interview with Lunar Drive-in worker of six years… Andrea Leket

28 Jan

Q1: Why do you think people choose to view movies at the drive-ins rather than an indoor shopping plaza cinema?

I think it’s all about privacy. People who like talking loudly to their friends while others are trying to listen, or answering their phone and continuing a long conversation while others are trying to watch, these things can be avoided in the comfort of your own car. Then you get to have the experience of a cinema outing and the only person you annoy is yourself!

Q2: Have you noticed any changes/ technical advancements in the way drive-ins operate since you have worked in the industry?

Yes. Probably the most obvious one was the use of the bulky speakers which were usually broken and let in the cold air in winter, that have been replaced by tuning into the radio. Another is the use of mobile phones! Customers are able to text their order to the candy bar and have it delivered to their vehicle instead of having to get out, make sure their car was secure and venture to the candybar booth.

Q3: What do you think makes drive-ins so special? (particularly for couples)

For me, it’s the old-fashioned nature of it all. It always seems to be so romantic. And what could be more romantic than the three most lovely things combined: snuggling up beneath a blanket, stargazing and watching a good film.


INTERMISSION: Drive-in 1950’s / 60’s video

27 Jan

Memories of drive-in visitors of varying demographics

26 Jan
English: drive-in movies 2008 in brussels with...
Image via Wikipedia

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.

Slideshow of drive-in photographs taken by blogger

25 Jan

Photographs have been taken at the Coburg drive-in location.

Photographer: Megan Scollo

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

MAIN FEATURE PRODUCTION: Hoyts Drive-in/ Starlite Village Drive-in, Frankston

24 Jan

Here is a link to my contribution to the Bonza database:


The bonza project aims to enhance the research training experience for media educators and students alike.

For students, bonza provides hands-on, detailed experience with the various processes involved in undertaking film and media research. Students actively learn the skills of the film theorist, historian and analyst through developing their research projects.

Students gather information on self-selected areas of interest from a nominated national film industry that makes up the entire bonza database. They reference and annotate primary and secondary documents, create biographical records for people who have worked within the industry, and develop accounts of the different films, businesses and cinemas they are researching. The students then prepare, publish and link their online essays (incorporating words, sound and image) to each other’s work, to online sources and to the information gathered in the bonza database, just like this one. Enjoy.

Current photographs of Village Starlite Cinema site, Frankston; Demolished in 1982. Sourced from Google Earth.

23 Jan

Ground-Level Vew of 438/444 Nepean Highway (demolished Village Starlite, Frankston location)

Right Street-View of 438/444 Nepean Highway (demolished Village Starlite, Frankston location)

Left Street-View of 438/444 Nepean Highway (demolished Village Starlite, Frankston location)

Bird’s Eye View; 438 – 444 Nepean Highway, Frankston.

Frankston Drive-in: From Hoyts to Village

22 Jan

1970's Speaker

Frankston Starlite Village Drive-in utilised the old Reservoir drive-in screen when the venue was twinned in 1982.
“Reservoir had closed earlier in the year along with Sunshine.”
(Kildberry, 1999)

The Frankston Drive-in was origionally named “Hoyts Drive-in, Frankston” and was owned by Hoyts upon its construction and opening on the 5th of December 1956. During the 15 years Hoyts operated the venue, Frankston only contained one screen. In 1971 Village partnered the operation and the venue was re-named “Frankston Starlite Village Drive-in”. In 1984 (having been run by Village for 13years) the site was twinned.