Touch of Nostalgia (Part 2) . . .
The memories that are awakened by the sight of an object can be amazing. As I continue to scan old family photos I came across the first car I remember our family owned. There were only two photos of it that I could find (so far), but the memories of traveling in that car with my family are numerous.
By today’s standards, this was a big car (and I was very small ;-)). It was a black Chevy Impala convertible with red and white interior. Back in those days we did not wear seat belts and mothers held their babies instead of using a car seat. We drove on the highways with the top down in the summer time and did not think much about the danger of any of that. Times were different.
One of our favorite summertime outings was taking the car to the neighborhood drive-in movie theater. Do you remember those? I grew up in St. Paul and our drive-in theater was about 6 blocks away. We lived on a hill and were taunted by the sight of the movie screen out of the living room window throughout the summer. It was very small in the distance, but binoculars could get you a little better view (no sound of course ;-)). It was a special treat when we got to go to the Drive-in theater and Drive-in Restaurants (which are also hard to find these days).
Packing up the car to go to a movie was great fun. We (3 kids) gathered our pillows and blankets and filled up the backseat. There were snacks, popcorn and pop. We could talk during the movie and not bother anyone. And, on a hot night putting the top down on made it even more fun. Do you remember the crackly voices over the speaker that hung on the car window? Or, are you younger and could use the car radio? Our theater was high-tech, concessions could be both ordered and delivered from your car if you did not want to take a walk. (Click here for more Drive-in Theater memories and history: http://www.driveintheater.com/). Intermission film clips, concession stand commercials, playgrounds, outdoor seating, etc…
I decided to share this particular car memory because of an article I read on the internet this past weekend. (Link to the article on Drive-in Theaters) Drive-in Theaters in the United States are in great danger of disappearing completely … many of the few remaining Drive-in Theaters are being forced to close because of mandatory digital projector upgrades.
I researched Minnesota and found that out of the 87 drive-in movie theaters in the State, only 5 remain open. You can research your State’s Drive-in Theater statistics here: http://www.drive-ins.com
We are losing an American icon of entertainment, teenage” love”(?), and the car culture. Like many of you, I have not been to a Drive-in theater in more years than I can count .. but that is because there are no theaters around me any more. It is sad that very soon, kids will not be able to experience a Drive-in theater.
One bright spot is a project Honda started to help save five Drive-in theaters. It is called “Project Drive-in” (read more: http://projectdrivein.com/) At the Honda site, you have the opportunity to vote for the Drive-In theater you would most like Honda to save. Explanation from the Project Drive-in website:
“In less than 3 months, the majority of American drive-in theaters will face closure with the movie industry’s switch from film to digital. Upgrading to digital projection costs roughly $80,000.
We want to preserve this iconic part of American car culture. So we’re taking the first step by starting a drive-in fund and donating 5 digital projectors. Your vote decides where they go.”
I hope you will take some time to vote to save your favorite neighborhood Drive-In theater .. VOTE HERE TODAY – Decisions will be made at the end of August.
Your Comments …. could you please share a Drive-in Movie Theater memory here? Or, write your own post about it … spread the word, let’s save some Drive-in theaters.
Then stop by and check out my “Funny Old Bird” pictures at Bear in Sight.