Last night, Dan and I did something that we haven't done since we were kids.
We saw a movie at the local drive-in.
Drive-ins used to be the staple of Saturday night dates and family fare back in the '50's and '60's, but somewhere along the line, as towns expanded, the land that drive-ins sat on became too valuable. Most have been sold off and converted to strip malls or business parks. In some places, like Liverpool, NY where I grew up, only the neon sign remains of what used to be the community social gathering place in the summer.
I can remember as a kid, my mother popping a whole paper grocery bag full of buttered popcorn (in the days when you could only get paper). We'd bring our own softdrinks, and my sister and I would hunker down in the back seat under a blanket so that my parents wouldn't get charged for us, and we'd see Disney movies like The Absent-Minded Professor in black and white. It was exciting to hide from the ticket booth - we felt like co-conspirators with our parents, who didn't have a lot of money to spend on entertainment. There was always a double feature, and my sister and I would often nod off in the back seat before the end of the second feature.
There was a little play area near the screen that active children could play on until it got dark enough to show the film. And the concession was always advertised with cartoons. I wanted something from the concession stand, just because of the cartoons.
The drive-ins started to close during the recession of the early 80's, but if you look hard enough, you may find one that's still operating in a neighborhood near you. If you get a chance to go, you should. They're a part of life that is fast disappearing - and with the drive-ins, go those memories of lazy summer nights, necking with your girlfriend or boyfriend in the car and steaming up the windows, and feeling like the center of your own little world in your car.
Now... come with us to the drive-in ... just one more time.