I have always loved the idea of a drive-in theater. I can probably blame Grease for that, but they always seemed so incredibly cool.
Like a mix of large-theater bonding and privacy-of-own-home luck of NOT being able to hear that guy 3 cars down talking way too loudly during the film.
They felt so retro American (thanks, Grease and love of all-things-50s!) and I’d unfortunately never been able to go to one before — they weren’t exactly a staple in NC and even though LA is the Movie Capital of the World, most of theirs have been put out of commission — so I have pretty much romanticized them to death.
BUT. For my birthday this year? I GOT TO GO TO A DRIVE-IN MOVIE. *Cue happy dancing hot dog commercials I was so sure I would see*
Actually, I got to go to two, since the theater Jeremy found (like an hour-ish away…) played double features.
We decided on Hop/Rango, since I was really interested in Hop (Russell Brand, James Marsden & Kayley Cuoco!) and Jeremy wanted to see Rango. Win, win!
We got there a little early, since traffic can be hard to judge out here, and the movies didn’t start until dusk, but that just meant I had PLENTY of time to photograph our surroundings. (Most photos taken with Hipstamatic for iPhone, mostly b/c I found the camera settings appropriately retro).
One of the big screens:
Our sweet movie-viewing set-up:
I kept trying to get the screen in the background, but failing:
FINALLY almost time for the movies to start!
The way you listen to the films being projected is that you tune to a specific radio station (since they’re outdoors, and there were 4 separate screens, it would be a little difficult to have sound systems for each screen without major overlap). It was a little scratchy at times, but overall worked really well! It was really weird to run to the restroom though, and see things playing & not hearing anything but empty outdoor space and the occasional train.
And the movies them selves were decent choices. Hop was really funny/adorable for most of the movie, though the plot (well, PLOTS) was (were) a little jumbled at times. Russell Brand apparently makes an adorable bunny, in case any one was wondering. Rango, while a little more cohesive on the plot front…was a little confusing. It looked great visually, but for those thinking that Rango is a kiddy movie just because it’s animated (thank you, misleading previews) should look a little more into it before taking any youngsters. It’s actually much more of a classic western movie, with a fair amount of the classic film Chinatown thrown in, that just happens to be populated with lizards and other animals…and a (SPOILER?) Clint Eastwood look-alike.
While it’s a bit too far of a drive to make this a semi-frequent trip, I’ll definitely be checking back periodically to see if any other double features are playing that I’m DYING to see. It’s definitely an experience I would recommend if you can find a drive-in near you!