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  1. #1

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    Remember seeing movies at the Drive-In?

    This article's a little old, but the theater's still there and popular.


    Drive-in movie attracts crowds in Virginia
    Town saves icon of another era and enjoys old-fashioned nights out


    By Roger O’Neil

    Correspondent
    Updated: 6:35 p.m. CT Aug 16, 2006


    LEXINGTON, Virginia - Remember real butter on popcorn? Snow cones drenched with syrup? And hamburgers that tasted like, well, hamburgers? Remember the drive-in movie?

    Here in Lexington, at Hull's Drive-in, a summer weekend still takes a back seat to a double feature — a tradition more than 3,000 American towns have lost since the 1980s as land values and entertainment tastes changed.
    "It's like sitting on the front porch," says Elise Sheffield.

    But when Hull's closed, the town focused on saving it, because the view for Elise and Eric Sheffield was too good to lose.

    "Drive-ins are a special place," Eric Sheffield says. "There's something magical that happens here."

    "It's not even really about the movie," Elise says. "They're coming here for something else, which is time to be with the people they love — whether it's a date or their kids."

    With mostly $5 and $10 donations, Hull's Drive-in is now community-owned. And open. And Frank Kulesza is still stringing the 35mm film through the antique projector.

    And if something breaks down?

    "Well, sometimes it's paperclips, duct tape," Kulesza says.

    Showing PG movies and charging just 5 bucks (kids are free), it's not unusual to get a full house.

    If you're old enough to remember drive-ins, you remember how you tried to get in sometimes in the trunk of your buddy's car. And it's still happening today. Some things never change.

    Whether it's in an antique car, or a pink Cadillac, the drive-in strikes a nostalgic cord of a slower, simpler and safer world.


    © 2007 MSNBC Interactive
    URL: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/14381313/
    http://www.hullsdrivein.com/

    Double features for $5.00. Now that's my kind of moviegoing. The only thing that would make it even better (for me, at least) is if instead of new movies, they showed classics like this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=<obje...mbed></object>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=<obje...mbed></object>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=<obje...mbed></object>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=<obje...mbed></object>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=<obje...v/RKrtfN5h6Zg"http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=<obje...mbed></object>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=<obje...mbed></object>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=<obje...mbed></object>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=<obje...mbed></object>

  2. #2

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    Re: Remember seeing movies at the Drive-In?

    We have a Drive-In up here in the Bremerton Area. About 20 minutes or so from where I live. They only operate in the Summer. Its been there my entire life.

  3. #3

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    Re: Remember seeing movies at the Drive-In?

    Wow...thanks for all the great YouTube links...

    Remember drive-ins? Are you kidding me? As a kid growing up in the 60's, my folks brought me 2-3 times a week...

    And it the 70's, as a teenager and young adult...I still watched the movie most of the time.

    Southern California, LA and Orange County, used to be the mecca of the drive-in theater.

    No, there are none left in the OC...and between LA and and Ventura County, there's just one...the Vineland in the City of Industry. They still have a couple in the Inland Empire I believe.

    Here's a link to a great website for SoCal drive-in fans and others as well.

    http://mysite.verizon.net/res8ibgr/socaldriveins/

    Enjoy. The snack bar closes in 10 minutes.
    God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

  4. #4

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    Re: Remember seeing movies at the Drive-In?

    Fond memories! Nothing like hiding in the trunk so my parents would save $1.50.

    Really though, Drive-inns are an awesome memory of my childhood. There is one in Santee Ca that I'm dying to go to next time I'm in San Diego.

  5. #5

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    Re: Remember seeing movies at the Drive-In?

    i used to LOVE going to the 101 Drive In in Ventura..i used to have a 1973 Volvo station wagon and we'd always park it backwards, throw sleeping bags in the back and kick back watching movies....i really miss those days
    Will there be screams when the sun sets,
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  6. #6

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    Re: Remember seeing movies at the Drive-In?

    Quote Originally Posted by elly View Post
    i used to LOVE going to the 101 Drive In in Ventura..i used to have a 1973 Volvo station wagon and we'd always park it backwards, throw sleeping bags in the back and kick back watching movies....i really miss those days
    On my latest visit to Barnes and Noble, in the strip mall where the 101 used to be...

    I think I figured out that Kohl's Department store is just about where the snack bar used to be...
    God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

  7. #7

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    Re: Remember seeing movies at the Drive-In?


  8. #8

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    Re: Remember seeing movies at the Drive-In?

    Quote Originally Posted by Radiobarry View Post
    On my latest visit to Barnes and Noble, in the strip mall where the 101 used to be...

    I think I figured out that Kohl's Department store is just about where the snack bar used to be...

    awww Barry..that makes me soooo sad, the last time we were in Ventura it was so weird to drive by there on the freeway and see all those stores instead of the drive-in.
    Will there be screams when the sun sets,
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tinkermonkey
    elly is the ultimate nerdy girl. But she makes it sexy
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  9. #9

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    Re: Remember seeing movies at the Drive-In?

    Quote Originally Posted by Radiobarry View Post
    No, there are none left in the OC...
    This was the last one, off the 22 Freeway and Beach Blvd. in Westminster -




    BUT!!!!


    There's a new drive-in that's been operating all summer in Costa Mesa, at the OC Fairgrounds. It's been VERY popular.

    http://www.star-vu.com/

    Here's a shot of their opening night!


  10. #10

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    Re: Remember seeing movies at the Drive-In?

    We do have a Drive-In here in the Reno/Sparks area, but its in such a horrible part of town i honestly wouldn't feel comfortable going there, which is a shame
    Will there be screams when the sun sets,
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tinkermonkey
    elly is the ultimate nerdy girl. But she makes it sexy
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  11. #11

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    Re: Remember seeing movies at the Drive-In?

    Quote Originally Posted by Retrocool View Post



    There's a new drive-in that's been operating all summer in Costa Mesa, at the OC Fairgrounds. It's been VERY popular.

    http://www.star-vu.com/

    Here's a shot of their opening night!

    I saw Oceans 13 there! People are sooo nice (I kinda' forgot to wash my car pre-movies, and this guy who washes windows professionally right next to us! He saw us struggling and washed my window and it was soooo great!). Also you can bring your favorite foods in!

    Look in the background, you can see Vanguard University.

  12. #12

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    Re: Remember seeing movies at the Drive-In?

    By the way, Barry, here's a link with some info and photos on the Vineland, the only remaining drive-in theater in Los Angeles County. http://www.drive-ins.com/detail/catvine

    You know, you might want to check out the Southern California Drive-In Movie Society, Barry. You seem like the kind of guy they'd love to have as a member.

    Also, here's the info on the three in the Inland Empire you mentioned (plus two others I found out about!):


    Van Buren Drive-in
    3035 Van Buren Blvd., Riverside
    951-688-2360
    http://www.drive-ins.com/theater/catvanb
    Screens: Three
    Capacity: 1,500 cars
    Opened: 1964
    Admission: $7, 9 and younger free


    Rubidoux Drive-in
    3770 Opal St., Riverside
    951-683-4455
    www.rubidoux.icyspicy.com
    Screens: Three
    Capacity: 600 cars
    Opened: 1948
    Admission: $7, 9 and younger free


    Mission Tiki Drive-in
    4407 State St., Montclair
    909-628-0511
    www.missiontiki.com
    http://www.drive-ins.com/theater/catmiss
    http://www.myspace.com/missiontiki
    (their snack bar even has churros!)
    Screens: Four
    Capacity: 1,885
    Opened: 1956
    Admission: $7, 9 and younger free


    Skyline Drive-in
    31175 Highway 58, Barstow
    760-256-3333
    Screens: Two
    Capacity: 600
    Opened: 1966
    Admission: $6, $2 kids 2-11


    Smith's Ranch Drive-in
    4584 Adobe Road, Twentynine Palms
    760-367-7713
    Screens: One
    Capacity: 330
    Opened: 1954
    Admission: $5, 3 and younger free


    Here's a great slideshow with audio that you'll probably enjoy: http://www.pe.com/multimedia/flash/2...n13/index.html

    It's in relation to this news article in the Press-Enterprise:


    Families return to Inland drive-in movie theaters

    05:17 PM PDT on Thursday, July 12, 2007

    By MARK MUCKENFUSS
    The Press-Enterprise

    Slideshow: See people enjoy a night at the drive in
    Video: Experience the magic of drive-in theaters


    Riverside had the Magnolia, San Bernardino the Mount Vernon. Banning sported the Cherry Pass, while Rialto and Fontana had the Foothill and Bel-Air, respectively. Even Big Bear Lake, like most Inland Empire communities, had its own drive-in theater. But it and the others are now gone.

    If you had asked just about anyone 10 years ago, they would have told you the drive-in was history.

    But like a Monty Python character, local drive-in theaters seem to be crying out "I'm not dead yet!"

    In fact, in the past few years drive-in owners say they have seen a resurgence in business.

    Although it usually takes opening multiple screens and daytime swap meets, theater owners say drive-ins have returned to profitability. Recently, the Orange County Fairgrounds began hosting the Star-Vu Drive-in, which uses an enormous inflatable screen.

    "Maybe even 10 years ago, it started to pick up," says Fred Williams, who has managed the Van Buren Drive-in in Riverside for 38 years. "The last four years, things have been going like crazy."

    Story continues below

    Photos By Stan Lim / The Press-Enterprise
    Skyline Drive-in 31175 Highway 58, Barstow; 760- 256-3333;
    Screens: Two; Capacity: 600; Opened: 1966;
    Admission: $6, $2 kids 2-11
    Jeremy Gross, 15, and his sister Krista Kolonis, 6, both of Victorville,
    sit on top of their van as their movie begins at Skyline Drive-In Theatre
    in Barstow.


    Williams and others say the resurgence is due to a number of factors. Most important is the fact that drive-ins are now offering first-run films instead of having to wait weeks for them. Better technology also has enhanced the quality of the picture and sound.

    Paul Geissinger, 54, is president of the United Drive-in Theaters Association and owns Shankweiler's Drive-in in Orefield, Pa., the oldest operating drive-in theater in the country. It opened in 1934. Geissinger says drive-ins throughout the country are enjoying an upswing in business.

    "I think it's widespread," Geissinger says. "People are interested in the nostalgia of the drive-in theater. And it's reasonably priced family entertainment."

    Geissinger says there are 408 drive-ins left in the country. Of the 10 remaining drive-in theaters in Southern California -- not counting the Star-Vu -- five are in Riverside and San Bernardino counties. As land values in Southern California escalated, it became more profitable to sell drive-ins in more metropolitan areas. But some rural drive-ins held on.

    Frank Huttinger is vice president of marketing for De Anza Land and Leisure Corp., a family-owned business that operates the Mission Tiki, Van Buren and Rubidoux drive-ins, along with several others.

    At a time when many drive-ins were being torn down, Huttinger says, "the family members looked at it and said, 'There's potential for growth there. It's time to put the drive-ins back on the map.' Let's say it's met and exceeded our expectations."

    Story continues below

    Smith's Ranch Drive-in 4584 Adobe Road, Twentynine Palms;
    760-367-7713; Screens: One; Capacity: 330; Opened: 1954;
    Admission: $5, 3 and younger free
    Clara Bills, 11, and her brother Ethan, 8, of Twentynine Palms, wait for
    the movie to start.


    Teri Oldknow is senior vice president for De Anza. She knows some don't understand the effort.

    "There are a lot of people who will never get it," she says. "They can't understand why people would want to be outdoors."

    But for those that do, she's pleased to see new life in the business in which she grew up. She says she has enjoyed seeing a return to the family atmosphere she knew as a kid.

    "Being involved in (the) comeback," she says, "I feel like I have a guaranteed place in heaven."

    Reach Mark Muckenfuss at 951-368-9595 or [email protected]

    _________________________________________________

    Drive-in Food

    Drive-in food means different things for different people. For some, the distinction doesn't really exist. But for others, there are certain foods they only purchase or make when they go to the show.

    "We always get Foster Freeze, and that's the only time we get it," says Amanda McDaniel, 21, of Twentynine Palms. She and her husband pick up the fast food before heading to Smith's Ranch Drive-in. "The old-fashioned (burger), waffle fries and Dr Pepper -- it's drive-in food."

    Here are some other examples:

    "We go to Walgreen's or Wal-Mart and get the Raisinettes or Gobstoppers. We don't buy the candy any other time." - Neil Brown, 35, Joshua Tree.

    "Sunflower seeds." -- Chris Durant, 29, Upland

    "Peanut M&M's, we only buy them for the drive-in." - Larry Morris, 32, Victorville

    "Popcorn. The real butter is a selling point." - Al Andrade, 49, Ontario

    "We always get a bucket of Red Vines." -- James Alefaio, 34, Twentynine Palms
    Last edited by Retrocool; 10-08-2007 at 11:39 PM.

  13. #13

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    Re: Remember seeing movies at the Drive-In?

    [quote=Retrocool;2221573]This was the last one, off the 22 Freeway and Beach Blvd. in Westminster -



    Did you check out the Southern California Drive-ins site that I referenced? Thanks for the other links.
    God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

  14. #14

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    Re: Remember seeing movies at the Drive-In?

    Quote Originally Posted by aashee View Post
    Fond memories! Nothing like hiding in the trunk so my parents would save $1.50.

    Really though, Drive-inns are an awesome memory of my childhood. There is one in Santee Ca that I'm dying to go to next time I'm in San Diego.
    How I remember drive-ins! I grew up in San Diego and we had plenty of them. Now they're all gone save a few.

    I lived in Santee for awhile and saw many movies at the Santee Drive In. Originally, there were two screens showing different films at each end of the parking lot. You chose which film you wanted to see, then parked your car either north or south to see the appropriate screen. Today, there is only a single screen. It was most fun on a balmy summer evening to throw a couple of lawn chairs and a cooler in the back of the pickup, park backwards and sit under the stars in the pickup bed, drinking... uh... Cokes... and watching the movie.

    You may also want to check out the South Bay Drive In near Imperial Beach.
    "Yesterday, a man walked up to me and said, 'Isn't it a shame that Walt Disney couldn't be here to see this?' and I said, "He did see this, that's why it's here."
    -Art Linkletter July 17, 2005-


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  15. #15

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    Re: Remember seeing movies at the Drive-In?

    Quote Originally Posted by Radiobarry View Post
    Did you check out the Southern California Drive-ins site that I referenced? Thanks for the other links.
    Yes I did, thanks for that! That's a great resource!

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