When I was little, I loved the idea of going to a drive-in movie. It seemed like the cool kids in EVERY old movie would end up in a drive-in at some point in the show. I wanted to go to!!! Problem: no one I knew shared this desire. None of my friends growing up wanted to check out the drive-in here in Albuquerque. My parents grew up with them and didn’t really want anything to do with the one here. Which had SIX screens and must have been totally awesome. So when I was about to turn 16 and get my license, I was excited to check out a drive-in movie. Way excited. SO excited. Even if I went by myself and left halfway through, I just wanted to see one!
And then they closed and tore down the Albuquerque 6 Drive-in a few months before I got my license. True story. I couldn’t make up something like that.
So I lived another 15 years and finally realized my dream of seeing a drive-in movie. New Mexico has a few active drive-ins still. There’s one in Las Vegas called the Fort Union that’s just awesome. They have the little humps to angle your car up to the screen, they have the kickass snack stand with home-made tamales, and they FM broadcast. My wife and I went up to check it out early this summer. It was everything I hoped for. The people were cool, the movie was decent, and we sat in Beep, our Mazda3.
We went up a second time just the other weekend and I brought my camera. I very nearly brought Sharka, but the fear of being high centered kept the low Miata at home. Just as well, the 3 is a very comfortable car for sitting and watching 4 hours of movies. We saw a double feature of The Proposal with Sandy Bullock and Terminator 4. Good times.
I could probably type for a page about the awesome drive-in experience. How families would pile into their SUVs and back up to the screen and then set up their lawn chairs. How the sunset colors reflecting on the screen went just perfect with my Sonic Rt 44 cherry limeaid. How people friendly the people were, even to strangers from a town 100 miles away. How the smell of the cotton candy permeated every car for a mile around. But I won’t do that. I don’t wanna bore my reader.
If anyone out there like me has drive-in dreams and has never realized them, go do it before they’re all gone. It’s worth a road trip. Bring your camera and take some snapshots. Hit Drive-inTheater.com and check out their list of working theaters. And maybe leave a comment on here if you’re inspired and go out to actually do it.