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24 May, 2007
The only time I've been to a drive-in was with a bunch of friends back in the mid-80s. Drive-ins were already in decline then, and since none of us have ever been to one, we wanted to check it out before it completely disappeared.
I don't remember which drive-in we went to except the space was occupied by a swap meet during the day. I barely recall the movie either, except for the poor visual projection and audio reception which occasionally hissed on the car radio. There was no concession stand -- not that we would dare buy anything from it, anyway -- and the lot with the weeds growing in its cracked pavement looked forlorn with the anemic dozen or so cars that dotted its landscape.
Since I was in the back seat straining to see the actors from the neck up, I started getting bored and my eyes wandered around to the other cars. I found it curious that the windows of the car nearest us started to fog up and rock slowly back and forth. What the... ? Oh. Being young and naive at the time, it took me a few seconds to figure out they weren't watching the movie. A couple of cars started to fog up, too. Suddenly the candy bar I found in my purse didn't look too good. So much for the drive-in experience.
A couple of decades later, Star-Vu is reviving the Southern California drive-in via a state of the art inflatable screen. This time, the promotional emphasis is on family night rather than date night. The idea might catch on as a good way to spend summer evenings if they do it right: good visual and audio, clean and safe environment, and security to keep the window foggers off the premises.
If this flops, there's still the vintage movie screenings at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery.
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I'm a curious dilettante
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