When I was a child, my family was on a strict budget, which meant watching movies at the local drive-in theater.  Mom made popcorn, which we weren’t allowed to eat until a quarter of the way into the picture.  Sometimes, as a treat, we would get a soda from the snack bar.

speakerEach parking space had its own speaker which hung on a pole and was attached with a cable.  The speaker would hang over the partially opened car window.  Sometimes, the speakers actually worked.  When they didn’t, we’d have to drive forward or backward to another parking spot.  It got to the point where my dad would just have my brothers get out of the car to run from speaker to speaker finding one that worked, so he wouldn’t have to continually move the car.  In the winter, because of the required partially opened window, we would freeze.

There was a playground in front of the screen, which included swings and a small train, surrounded by candy-striped poles.  My brothers would entertain themselves there until the movie started.

Mom and Dad sat in the front seat, of course, and my two brothers and I were in the back.  We young, short children not only couldn’t see the movie screen over our parents’ heads, but we had to continually stretch our necks to the left or right of their bodies for a glimpse. 

A cartoon always played before the double feature.  I remember being turned away from “What’s New Pussycat?” after being told it wasn’t appropriate for children.

In high school, the drive-in provided an excellent location to “make out,” or to take a few friends in a truck, parked backwards, so we could all sit in the back to truly enjoy the outdoor experience. 

What do you remember about the drive-in movie theater?

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