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Tue May 12, 2020, 03:03 PM

 

The rebirth of movie drive-ins?

I could see it happening. Over the years many drive-ins closed, There are still a few around where I live. I don't see the American people going to in door movie theaters any time soon.

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Reply The rebirth of movie drive-ins? (Original post)
shockey80 May 2020 OP
LakeArenal May 2020 #1
PoliticAverse May 2020 #2
brooklynite May 2020 #3
Mme. Defarge May 2020 #4
LeftInTX May 2020 #7
OriginalGeek May 2020 #12
Locrian May 2020 #14
OriginalGeek May 2020 #16
Locrian May 2020 #20
Blue_true May 2020 #23
OriginalGeek May 2020 #50
Blue_true May 2020 #52
OriginalGeek May 2020 #53
Blue_true May 2020 #55
OriginalGeek May 2020 #56
Blue_true May 2020 #59
Blue_true May 2020 #60
OriginalGeek May 2020 #61
hlthe2b May 2020 #5
cbdo2007 May 2020 #6
FoxNewsSucks May 2020 #10
cbdo2007 May 2020 #37
virgogal May 2020 #8
WePurrsevere May 2020 #9
melm00se May 2020 #45
WePurrsevere May 2020 #49
tblue37 May 2020 #11
lunatica May 2020 #13
OriginalGeek May 2020 #15
mopinko May 2020 #17
USALiberal May 2020 #18
Chainfire May 2020 #19
meadowlander May 2020 #36
essme May 2020 #21
GulfCoast66 May 2020 #22
Gidney N Cloyd May 2020 #25
Blue_true May 2020 #24
localroger May 2020 #26
Shermann May 2020 #27
meadowlander May 2020 #35
Green Line May 2020 #28
Tanuki May 2020 #30
Green Line May 2020 #31
Marrah_Goodman May 2020 #41
Green Line May 2020 #44
Marrah_Goodman May 2020 #47
Green Line May 2020 #57
Marrah_Goodman May 2020 #58
cornball 24 May 2020 #29
niyad May 2020 #32
Totally Tunsie May 2020 #33
melm00se May 2020 #46
JI7 May 2020 #34
Baclava May 2020 #38
Marrah_Goodman May 2020 #40
Marrah_Goodman May 2020 #39
MineralMan May 2020 #42
spinbaby May 2020 #43
Wounded Bear May 2020 #48
shockey80 May 2020 #51
Happy Hoosier May 2020 #54
Totally Tunsie May 2020 #62
Marrah_Goodman May 2020 #63
Totally Tunsie May 2020 #64
JHB May 2020 #65
ProfessorGAC May 2020 #66
Yeehah May 2020 #67

Response to shockey80 (Original post)

Tue May 12, 2020, 03:03 PM

1. I miss them. Talk about the big screen.

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Response to shockey80 (Original post)

Tue May 12, 2020, 03:05 PM

2. ...


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Response to shockey80 (Original post)

Tue May 12, 2020, 03:07 PM

3. Next stop: car-hop restaurants

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Response to brooklynite (Reply #3)

Tue May 12, 2020, 03:10 PM

4. Beat me to it!

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Response to brooklynite (Reply #3)

Tue May 12, 2020, 03:25 PM

7. We gotta em here: Sonic

It's my fave fast food place prior to Covid 19...I like the milkshakes

2 miles from home

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Response to LeftInTX (Reply #7)

Tue May 12, 2020, 03:41 PM

12. we went to our Sonic last weekend but

They wouldn't let us stay and eat in the car. They would bring us the food but then we had to leave. We went to the CVS parking lot next door. Woulda gone home but it would have been a 20~30 minute drive and Sonic is only good while still hot.


I'm really wondering if maybe they misinterpreted orders from corporate. I can't see how I could be more a danger or in danger eating in my car than I was just receiving the food from the car-hop in the first place.


I will also add the Sonic's here in Florida are not the same as what I remember growing up with in Texas (40 years ago). I think it might be the bread and perhaps they don't give us the grease we got in the old days. I lived on Sonic jalapeno burgers back in the day but they got nothing that good nowadays. I still like them but not nearly as much as I liked them in my youth. Except for the shakes - they still got that nailed.

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Response to OriginalGeek (Reply #12)

Tue May 12, 2020, 03:49 PM

14. only thing I can think is if they....

had a lot of people waiting for pickup and didn't want people parking.
I remember the drive ins! seems they used to have more "parking" space. Our Sonics are pretty small.

Other than that I got nothin!




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Response to Locrian (Reply #14)

Tue May 12, 2020, 03:54 PM

16. most of ours have 3-4 long rows of drive-in spots

PLUS a drive through window. The spots were maybe half full. The tables up front were blocked off. the drive through line had a few cars but not as crazy as I have seen it before.

Oh well, it tasted just fine next door lol.

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Response to OriginalGeek (Reply #16)

Tue May 12, 2020, 04:00 PM

20. yeah I bet you're right...

somebody misinterpreted corporate orders

Can't see why they wouldn't want people there in cars
Probably just over cautious

Wonder if that's considered part of dining "on premises"? Vs pick up only? So maybe still under (or misinterpreted) lock down orders?

I'm sure they'll figure it out. Seems like drive ins (eating, movies, etc) are a great business model for the times

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Response to OriginalGeek (Reply #12)

Tue May 12, 2020, 04:08 PM

23. Like Locrian wrote, Sonics where I live are small.

My guess is they can take only 20-30 cars max parking. In these times, they make more from drive thru and drive off. The Sonics that I see seem to be busier than what I saw before this crisis.

I have seen their shakes advertised, but assumed they were the typical fast food shakes, warmed-over whipped milk-water. I have never gone to one, will have to stop by and try a hotdog and a shake. Dairy Queen used to be the literal bom for shakes when I was growing up, it's food then was also pretty decent.

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Response to Blue_true (Reply #23)

Wed May 13, 2020, 10:43 AM

50. I have mixed feelings on DQ

My mom and aunt's childhood friend owned the one in Venice FL for as long as I can remember until he retired and sold it. My earliest memories are of visiting grandma and going to DQ but his was one that didn't have food - he hated those lol. He did shakes and cones and sundaes only so my earliest memories are also tinged with distrust for DQ's that make food. But I grew up in Texas and those all had food and the DQ Belt Buster is one of my all time favorite sandwiches and I wish they still had them because a chicken fried steak sandwich should be at least a weekly thing but then I feel guilty getting food from a DQ. Like I'm betraying our dear friend lol.

I usually get over it - their onion rings are addictive.

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Response to OriginalGeek (Reply #50)

Wed May 13, 2020, 02:43 PM

52. We no longer have DQ where I live.

I visited one in another state while on business, but it did pretty much ice cream concoctions, including shakes. It had what is now called super-premium ice cream as the base of everything, that is so rare today, but was the basics when I was a kid. The out of state DQ also did hotdogs, but seemed to set limits on the amount when I was there, because I watched the customer just ahead of me buy up what was left, he asked about more, but the teenager at the window said they only make a certain number on some days.

I absolutely loved the DQ Brazier Burger when I was a kid. If Sonic has anything close, I will satisfy my now infrequent burger cravings there, since we no longer have DQ.

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Response to Blue_true (Reply #52)

Wed May 13, 2020, 03:45 PM

53. Sonic is OK and easy on the wallet.

But if you have a Culver's nearby they have way better burgers and a lot more ice cream options. A little more expensive though - the one near work costs me about 11 bucks for lunch although I do upgrade my basket to a large onion rings and drink. IF perhaps I were less gluttonous I could escape there for less.

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Response to OriginalGeek (Reply #53)

Wed May 13, 2020, 07:33 PM

55. I live in North Central Florida. Never heard of a Culver's.

What region of the country are you located in, the eating place may be regional? But, there are some places that I don't go into, like most of the Midwest, Interior West and Northern Plains states.

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Response to Blue_true (Reply #55)

Thu May 14, 2020, 09:51 AM

56. How far north are you?

I go to the one in Clermont occasionally because we have friends out there but the one I go to at lunch is by the Millennia Mall in Orlando.

I just found out there's one in Casselberry now which is closer to my house in Longwood and only about a mile from our Sonic so I'm covered for Culvers at home, work and visiting friends lol.

There's one in Gainesville but I wouldn't probably go there as I was born in Tallahassee. I exist because of FSU lol.

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Response to OriginalGeek (Reply #56)

Thu May 14, 2020, 05:27 PM

59. Marion County.

Orlando has a lot of things that we don't have eating wise. Except for Lee's chicken , Popeye's, and Zaxby's, we tend to get stuff other places discard.

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Response to OriginalGeek (Reply #56)

Thu May 14, 2020, 05:30 PM

60. I live near Gainesville and am your chosen enemy (really must be tough for you to

be so connected to a second rate university).

Next time I'm in G'ville, I will look Culver's up.

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Response to Blue_true (Reply #60)

Fri May 15, 2020, 09:31 AM

61. lol!

My company has a branch in Ocala so I go to Lee's every time I have to go up there. They used to have a chicken fried steak sandwich that I love but I think they changed up their menu a little last time I was up there. It's been over a year so I don't remember details but I remember being a little disappointed in them. Kind of like when I see a UF sticker on a car.

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Response to shockey80 (Original post)

Tue May 12, 2020, 03:14 PM

5. There is one near me that is very iconic, yet threatened. I am thrilled that this may give them

a new life.

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Response to shockey80 (Original post)

Tue May 12, 2020, 03:17 PM

6. The problem is the bathroom situation.

one or all of my kids is going to have to go to the bathroom and that will cause us to have to walk through the gauntlet of people and their cars, and then also deal with all the bathroom people/germs.

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Response to cbdo2007 (Reply #6)

Tue May 12, 2020, 03:35 PM

10. Might be time to buy stock in

Depends™ .

If an astronaut can drive halfway across the continent, they'd be more than good enough for getting through a movie

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Response to FoxNewsSucks (Reply #10)

Wed May 13, 2020, 08:26 AM

37. Lol

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Response to shockey80 (Original post)

Tue May 12, 2020, 03:28 PM

8. They were great.

 

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Response to shockey80 (Original post)

Tue May 12, 2020, 03:33 PM

9. We're lucky enough to have 3 or 4 drive-ins within an hour or two of us...

They've been included in Cuomo's newest 'allow' and are thrilled. In their FB feeds they're talking about how they're going to be doing things from snack bar orders called in and delivered to your vehicle, to bathroom use so that they all comply with CDC guidelines and customers can still have fun and watch great movies.

These owners love don't seem to see this as just a business. They truly seem to love what they do, are willing to adapt to make things work and see this as an opportunity to help revive an endangered way of entertainment.

Here's a site that seems to have most, if not all, drive-ins that are still open listed:
https://www.driveinmovie.com/united-states

If I had the funds to invest in building and/or buying one of the older ones and restoring it I'd do it in a heartbeat. I'd add a stage and open it up for plays and concerts as well.

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Response to WePurrsevere (Reply #9)

Wed May 13, 2020, 10:06 AM

45. I know the owner of our drivein

After buying the land that had an old long in the tooth drive in, his biggest capital cost to modernize was the digital 2K projector (he thought about a 4K projector but the $100K cost at the time was prohibitive) required to show modern movies.

He uses public domain cartoons as his pre-show shorts

His next biggest costs were revamping and modernizing his concession trailer and attached kitchen.

He was fortunate that the FM transmitter for drive in theater applications does not require an FCC license.

His next big investment will be to put up a second screen but I think that will be delayed.

He does his tickets at cost and relies solely on his concessions to turn a profit. He serves surprisingly good food for a very reasonable price which pretty much precludes people from bringing in their own food.

In addition to movies, currently he has been renting the grounds for outdoor church services and social distanced high school graduations (he has 15 graduations on his books which shocked the hell out of him).

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Response to melm00se (Reply #45)

Wed May 13, 2020, 10:27 AM

49. He sounds like a very savvy business person. nt

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Response to shockey80 (Original post)

Tue May 12, 2020, 03:39 PM

11. I always liked going to drive-ins. nt

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Response to shockey80 (Original post)

Tue May 12, 2020, 03:43 PM

13. I've also thought of that

As well as the server on skates serving meals to people parked in cars.

I loved going to the drive in! It was a family tradition every Saturday night. We took our dog too. He was the first one to jump into the car. Back then he would jump out of the car when we arrived and then return when he heard car engines starting up. I wouldn’t do that now for the world! It’s a different world now.

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Response to shockey80 (Original post)

Tue May 12, 2020, 03:51 PM

15. the closest one I know of is over an hour away

maybe closer to to 2 hours since we moved a little farther away....I wish it were closer - I would be interested in going although now that I read the restroom issue up there I'm not sure I could do a double feature. Not interested in sharing a restroom with fellow earthlings just yet.


but man I do have fond memories of going to the drive-in with my folks and getting hot dogs and candy and burning that mosquito coil on the dash. We thought it was super high tech when they started offering the sound over the radio. I think the last drive-in movie we saw was when we took our kids to see Labyrinth.

edit to add~ Holy moley lol - I just looked at the website for the drive-in and they are currently showing Labyrinth on screen 1. I would think that's a sign but the movies change on Friday which would be the first time we could go. And for some reason, while they usually show first-run movies, their next few weeks are all throw-back movies. Ferris Bueller, Step-Brothers etc...

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Response to shockey80 (Original post)

Tue May 12, 2020, 03:55 PM

17. rona baby boom to follow.

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Response to shockey80 (Original post)

Tue May 12, 2020, 03:57 PM

18. No way, 4k tv and great sound works better at home nt

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Response to shockey80 (Original post)

Tue May 12, 2020, 03:58 PM

19. All of the drive-in theaters in my area have been closed for many decades.

I suspect that the price of land would really work against a comeback. That and not choking to death with everyone sitting still with engines running for AC or heat.

The last time I went to the drive-in, most cars did not have AC....I do not remember the last time that I went to the Drive-in and actually watched the movie. I do remember steaming up the windows.

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Response to Chainfire (Reply #19)

Wed May 13, 2020, 03:53 AM

36. Just set up a screen on the side of a blank shopping mall wall

or the exterior wall of a movie theatre and let people sit in the parking lot and stream the sound on their phones. Charge them to access the sound file. The mall would probably close before it got dark enough for the theatre to open.

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Response to shockey80 (Original post)

Tue May 12, 2020, 04:05 PM

21. Oh wouldn't that be fun to go to one with my husband

in either a 67 Dodge Dart convertible (with a slant 6) or a good old 1980's Ford F150?

No bucket seats in those babies!!!

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Response to shockey80 (Original post)

Tue May 12, 2020, 04:06 PM

22. The Epic theater a mile from my house rigged one up.

Their parking lot is next to the 50 foot tall side of their building. The put up a giant screen on the side of it and made a small projection booth.

Sound was on an unused FM station. The wife and I saw Grease Sunday night.

The bathroom situation worried me but they opened up a side door with a 12 foot wide hallway. All fixtures are automated; toilets, soap dispenser, sink and they have automatic air dryers.

I was a fun night.

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Response to GulfCoast66 (Reply #22)

Tue May 12, 2020, 04:17 PM

25. Got a link to that, especially with pictures?

We've got a theater here that might work for that too and I'd love to start some buzz.

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Response to shockey80 (Original post)

Tue May 12, 2020, 04:11 PM

24. Most people are rational and have a short memory.

I believe that once the coast is clear safety wise, people will resume going to indoor theaters. Indoor has so many advantages over drive-ins, especially during bad or hot weather.

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Response to shockey80 (Original post)

Tue May 12, 2020, 04:22 PM

26. Cost of land is the big problem

...as another commenter noted. Here in the NOLA area there were several very popular drive-in theaters when I was a kid, but one by one they were sold to developers. Piping the sound in over FM is better than the old can speakers, but we used to turn the car completely off for the movie -- even during summer, we'd just roll all the windows down. Modern cars drain the battery hard when the radio is running and a lot full of idling cars can't be a good thing. I do miss the experience, the smell of the BIC mosquito repellant coils, the greasy pizza from the concession stand, even the hike to the restrooms was unique to the experience. But I also like the reclining leather seats and bar at the newly refitted AMC. And as much as I'd like to help them stay in business, now that they will be allowed to reopen at 25% capacity I'm going to wait and make sure there's not a second surge in new cases before meeting my father there for a movie again.

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Response to shockey80 (Original post)

Tue May 12, 2020, 04:38 PM

27. It's been a long, long time but I recall the audio really sucking

If they have the FM transmitters and you have decent car audio it should be really good. Some cars have surround sound now, though that still seems to be rare.

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Response to Shermann (Reply #27)

Wed May 13, 2020, 03:50 AM

35. You could stream the sound on your phone or hook it up through the car speakers.

Like you log into a website, it gives you access to the sound for the movie as a mp3 and you get a cue when to start it and then you hit play.

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Response to shockey80 (Original post)

Tue May 12, 2020, 05:13 PM

28. A Chinese restaurant near me is planning to open

A drive-in movie/carhop combination in their parking lot. The lot is large enough for 60 cars. They’re waiting for town approval, which they’ll probably get, they’ve been in business at their location for 70 years.

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Response to Green Line (Reply #28)

Tue May 12, 2020, 06:03 PM

30. The Kowloon?

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Response to Tanuki (Reply #30)

Tue May 12, 2020, 11:16 PM

31. Yes, check the Globe, the article was in today's paper

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Response to Green Line (Reply #28)

Wed May 13, 2020, 08:39 AM

41. Yes!!!!!!!! I saw this today. I love Kowloons.

They are mine and my bfs favorite restaurant. We must be nieghbors. I spend about half my time in Peabody. All the time, with this pandemic going on.

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Response to Marrah_Goodman (Reply #41)

Wed May 13, 2020, 09:28 AM

44. We are neighbors, and we love Kowloons too. This should be interesting.

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Response to Green Line (Reply #44)

Wed May 13, 2020, 10:25 AM

47. The only worry my boyfriend has is that it will be incredibly packed.

We went to Woodmans for fried clams a couple weeks ago and It was so busy they had to have cops directing traffic. We turned around and went home.

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Response to Marrah_Goodman (Reply #47)

Thu May 14, 2020, 10:14 AM

57. Try Dube's in Salem, great fried seafood and they're doing curbside.

If you have a FB account join the group North Shore Eats, there are 47K members lots of good advice about curbside, delivery and good food.

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Response to Green Line (Reply #57)

Thu May 14, 2020, 11:43 AM

58. I'll check that out :)

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Response to shockey80 (Original post)

Tue May 12, 2020, 05:38 PM

29. I am so with you on this! I've been in favor of it pre-coronavirus. A high school here in

Pennsylvania had their graduation at a drive-in. Families and grads in cars, speeches pre-recorded and available on car radios and individual pics of each grad on big screen. Brilliant!

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Response to shockey80 (Original post)

Tue May 12, 2020, 11:21 PM

32. When donnie bodybags gets done holding rallies at those drive-ins, we will have to send hazmat

teams in before they can be used for anything else. I hope they won't need to be torn down completely.

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Response to shockey80 (Original post)

Tue May 12, 2020, 11:44 PM

33. There are two active drive-ins within 20 minutes of where I live.

One of them started with a standard fare movie selection then, for some reason, dropped that and became a XXX for maybe 10 years or so. It shut down for quite a while after that, but someone revived it a few years ago. From what I hear, its doing well.

Looks like the going rate is $27 a carload, with an additional $10 charged for oversized vehicles. Is that pretty standard these days?

A couple of defunct ones have been sold off to developers, and new housing has sprung up. I wonder if the property owners hear moans and groans during the night!

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Response to Totally Tunsie (Reply #33)

Wed May 13, 2020, 10:15 AM

46. the one we go to

is $8 per person, $5 for 3-11 year olds and under 3 are free.

that gets you a double feature (unless it is a big blockbuster like the Avengers), 1st run movies (usually a week or two after it hits the big chain theaters).

On the summer weekends, he was sold out far more often than not.

He has an advantage that with the weather here, he can be open 7 days a week for 6 or 7 months and weekend only for 3 or 4 more.

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Response to shockey80 (Original post)

Wed May 13, 2020, 03:40 AM

34. Not on a a Large Scale . Home Entertainment is where most of the money will be made

Drive Ins will never be popular like in the old days again.

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Response to shockey80 (Original post)

Wed May 13, 2020, 08:33 AM

38. Whoever actually watched the movie at those things? They were (legalized) make-out lots, lol

This is the DU member formerly known as Baclava.

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Response to Baclava (Reply #38)

Wed May 13, 2020, 08:37 AM

40. We have one near my house in Rhode Island

I used to take the whole family all the time. Pile the kids in the back of the station wagon, put the back seats down, and they were happy as clams with pillows and blankets and we would bring snacks and drinks from home. Back then it was 10 bucks a car for two movies (90's). Couldn't beat those prices.

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Response to shockey80 (Original post)

Wed May 13, 2020, 08:34 AM

39. There is a famous Asian restaurant just north of Boston...

...that is going to be offering car-hop service and movies this summer.

They have awesome food and I can't wait to go!

For those of you in the area, it's Kowloon's.

~happy dance~

Also there is still one drive-in movie place in Rhode Island.

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Response to shockey80 (Original post)

Wed May 13, 2020, 09:20 AM

42. Back in the early 60s, there was a drive-in theater in the next small town to mine.

My parents made it off-limits for dating when i was a teenager. They assumed, correctly, that a drive-in date was little more than a make-out date. What they didn't take into consideration was that a car right next to your car inhibited just how far you might take that making out. I mean, you sort of had to at least keep most of your clothes on.

Where I and my steady girlfriend parked on dates had no car next to us, and we could detect a car approaching at least half a mile away in both directions, so there was no such inhibiting influence. Teenagers can be very creative when there is a need for such creativity.

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Response to shockey80 (Original post)

Wed May 13, 2020, 09:25 AM

43. I have great memories of drive ins

We used to take the kids and make an evening of it.

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Response to shockey80 (Original post)

Wed May 13, 2020, 10:26 AM

48. Too much light pollution where I live...

no open spaces to put them that isn't surrounded by light emitting businesses.

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Response to shockey80 (Original post)

Wed May 13, 2020, 10:48 AM

51. My memories of the drive-in are,

 

Hot, muggy, summer nights, the crunching sound of the car tires rolling over the gravel. Hiding in the trunk with a girl you recently met.

Those truly were the good all days.

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Response to shockey80 (Original post)

Wed May 13, 2020, 04:31 PM

54. Not here I think. DST means it doesn;t get dark until LATE in the summer time...

... and no winter drive-ins

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Response to shockey80 (Original post)

Fri May 15, 2020, 04:17 PM

62. On a night where severe thunderstorms w/possibility of hail

as well as a tornado watch beginning at/about 8:00 p.m., opening night for our local drive-ins will go ahead as scheduled.

In fact, the theaters open up at 6:00, and cars are already in line per our local news report. Tickets for tonight and tomorrow are already sold out.

I think we have a few drive-in fans in the northern RI area!

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Response to Totally Tunsie (Reply #62)

Fri May 15, 2020, 04:38 PM

63. The Rustic!!

I hope they repaved the parking lot since the last time I was there (in the 90s)....LOL

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Response to Marrah_Goodman (Reply #63)

Fri May 15, 2020, 05:04 PM

64. You've got it...the (in)famous Rustic!!

From the news broadcast, it looks like the only improvement was a repainting of the concession stand. You'll still twist an ankle getting there (see link).



https://www.yelp.com/biz_photos/rustic-drive-in-theatre-north-smithfield?select=S7Kg1Q2i_ecyqpeHkMeICg

It's "rustic" all right!

Here's the line-up. People must really need to be out!

Each of the three screens has a double feature: Here’s the lineup:

Screen 1: “Onward,” “The Call of the Wild”

Screen 2: “The Hunt,” “The Invsible Man”

Screen 3: “Trolls World Tour,” “Jumanji: The Next Level”

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Response to shockey80 (Original post)

Fri May 15, 2020, 05:12 PM

65. It may revitalize the surviving ones, but very limited chance of new ones...

...and all the ones that knew of when I was growing up have, over the years, had shopping centers built over them.

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Response to shockey80 (Original post)

Fri May 15, 2020, 05:19 PM

66. Up The Tech

Use WiFi repeaters and let people use the car sound system for audio.
Even cars without WiFi would work by using the phone and an 1/8th to 1/8th cable into the auxiliary on the radio.
But, as someone above said, it may help pump new life into existing sites, but doubtful it would lead to a boom of new building.
Especially in northern climes where it would only be used 5 or 6 months a year.

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Response to shockey80 (Original post)

Fri May 15, 2020, 05:34 PM

67. Drive-ins are freakin' great!

The perfect mix of privacy and socializing.

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