“Every time I have a date there's only one place to go. That's to the drive in. It's such a groovy place to talk and maybe watch a show. Down at the drive in,” the Beach Boys sang
about it. We all lived it and loved it, too. Drive-ins were, and still are, cool.
Things have changed a little bit, no more moving from parking spot to parking spot in search of a decent speaker to hang on the inside of your car window. Nowadays the sound, tuned into the drive-in’s frequency, comes through your car radio! I think I miss those old speakers already.
But technology aside, the experience itself is the same.
Back in Connecticut, the Mansfield Drive In was very popular. Went there as a kid with the fam in the 60s and date nights in the 70s (without the fam). We’d get all comfy with pillows, blankets, munchies, our fave bevvies in the thermos and smokes for the evening! Such fun! Very fond memories of those nights and the films were great, too (heheheheh) ... Monty Python & the Holy Grail, The Groove Tube, triple features of Woody Allen flicks, Cheech & Chong; Monty Python, the Pink Panther ... and, well, who can remember them all, right?
And how about the dancing confections on that huge screen trying to tempt you over to the snack bar or at the very least, the swings! Just remembering them puts a smile on my face. Good times. And hey, during this time of COVID, the drive-in definitely allows for social distancing! It’s a family adventure in entertainment.
The one closest to us here in the Boothbay-Wiscasset area is Pride’s Corner in Westbrook. You can catch the sound at 88.9 FM with your car in auxiliary mode.
Check it out: This Friday and Sunday “The Goonies” is playing, different times each day. And Pride’s Corner runs midnight movies; no, not “Rocky Horror Picture Show,” but coming up this Saturday, July 25 is “Basket Case” from 1982. Here’s the Rotten Tomatoes synopsis: “A strange young man arrives in the city with a basket under his arm, which turns out to hold his horribly deformed twin brother. The pair proceed to enact a bloody revenge upon the doctors who separated them at birth in this alternately humorous and terrifying cult item.” Just the visual of a person peering out through the weave of a basket is pretty creepy.
And you can still go to the drive-in to see music: Country fans will enjoy “Blake Shelton & Friends” prior to the horror flick. And for all the Led Zep fans out there, in early August “The Song Remains the Same” is on the screen. Check out the website for more deets.
There are other drive-ins in Saco, Skowhegan, Farmington, Hermon, Wells and Madawaska (that might be a real stretch), but, hey, maybe for the younger movie lovers out there none of these are too far. Now, I’m not sure I’d still be awake at 1 a.m. for a midnight film and then driving back a hundred miles or whatever the distance!
What are your fave memories as a child going to the drive-in with the folks? With a boyfriend? A group of friends?
What would you like to see as a double or triple feature? OK. I’ll go first: Hmmm ... triple feature ... this is harder than I thought it would be! Oh! I know! Vincent Price classics “House on Haunted Hill,” “The Masque of the Red Death” and “Witchfinder General” ... I think. Like I said, this is tough. OK, double feature: “Vanishing Point” and “Easy Rider.”
Or .... how about a music double feature with say, “Ladies & Gentlemen - The Rolling Stones,” and Martin Scorceses’ “Rolling Stones: Shine A Light!”
Hey! I wonder if drive-ins take requests?
This just might be the summer to pack up the kids or a special someone and head down to the drive-in. I don’t know why, but drive-ins have never been somewhere to go alone. Indoor films, sure. Out to dinner alone, sure. Hiking, yeah that, too, but the drive-in just begs for two or more people to share the experience together while all snuggly, cozy and happy in a car. You feel encapsulated, insulated from the outside world ... yet, you’re outside.