Sunday, June 1, 2008
Ever since I was a little girl, I have always been a huge fan of the drive in movie theatre. Once spring comes around, it's only a matter of time before the drive in opens and movies are played back to back real cheap as you sit in the comfort and privacy of your own car.
I remember going to the drive in back when I was little. My parents put us in the backseat with some snacks and pillows, and we watched the first movie and passed out for the second (it was way past our bedtime). I remember watching The Flinstones movie with John Goodman and Halle Berry and Phenomenon with John Travolta, Snake Eyes with Nicholas Cage. I can't think of those movies without equating it to my greta experience at the drive in.
Even as I got older, teenage years, I loved going. It was something to do when my town offered little for teenagers. It was cheap, and you could sit and park for hours on end. We used to tuck someone away in the trunk to get away with paying their $6 or whatever the low price was. Sometimes we'd be scandalous and bring some fun drinks. It was always an adventure.
Now, I still go, but my experience this season was a bit different. New rules were set in place that really took this place to a new level of strictness. I go to the Malta Drive In, the closest one to my home, the one I frequented as a child. I love this one in particular because they still keep up with the 1950s theme they had since they first were in business. The advertisements are from the 50s; they even advertised for viewers to smoke in their cars--something unheard of in the 00s. They even still have some of the old speakers from the original times before the viewer could turn his/her radio to the matching station. I love it old school.
But, these new rules kind of took it down a knotch, if you ask me. I don't mind that the increased price is $8. That's a bargain for two movies. But, now they charge you if you bring any kind of food or beverage into the drive in, $5, and if they catch you without this permit, you are kicked out of the facility. Now, that's what I liked about the drive ins. You could bring your own food and not worry. When I went, I did bring my food and lied about it. I didn't think it would be a big deal. Who would really stop me?
Well, here is the strangeness: they hire this patrol of adolescents to weave through the cars to check for suspicious business. And let me tell you, they are serious about their job. It doesn't make any sense to me. I thought adolescents like to fudge around on the job, kind of slack off and get the money for easy work. Not this crew. I call them the patrol because they're looking for trouble. They interact with almost every other car when they walk around. They tell people where they can/cannot park, if they are taking up too much space, and bust them for problems. They carry around walkie talkies and huge flashlights on their belts that look like police clubs. It was down-right intimidating. What happened to the drive in? It's policed!
Since we brought food, we felt like teenagers would have some illegal drug on them. We had iced coffees that we had to hide on the floor. We couldn't even eat until it was dark out so they couldn't see us! These guys were everywhere. We couldn't even sneak in a bite. I was angry I just didn't pay the $5 because they were so intense! I'm glad they have people working, but these kids were just way too serious about the whole thing. I mean come on, this is a social event. Let people have fun and relax. Why turn this into terror and suspicion?
Needless to say, it was an excellent experience minus the high school police squad. I think they might not have much power in high school, so this is their chance to bust on older people and turn the tables around. We saw the new Indiana Jones flick and the new Chronicles of Narnia: The Prince of Caspian. Not bad sequels for $8.
So what do you like about the drive in? Any good/bad experiences?