I love going to a movie at a drive-in theatre: it’s one of my top ten summertime things to do. This is partly due to a bit of a nostalgia factor – my mom would occasionally bundle my sisters and I up in the car when we were kids and take us to see movie at the drive-in, and we were allowed to wear our pyjamas, which was awesome. But it’s also because I am both incredibly snarky and unfailingly polite, which is something that can cause a great deal of inner turmoil at a conventional movie theatre: my inner snark demands that I point out, with glee, all of the ridiculousness and inaccuracies in every summer blockbuster that I see. However, my inner Miss Manners demands that I hold myself back lest I ruin the movie-going experience of my fellow cinephiles. The drive-in, therefore, is the perfect place to go see a ridiculous, inaccurate (but still fun, don’t get me wrong!) summer blockbuster: I can be as snarky as I want, in the comfort of my own car, and only the (equally snarky) friends who are with me need to hear it. Thank you, drive in movie theatres, for being the solution to very trivial problems!
If you’ve never been to a drive-in theatre (and I’m always surprised at how many people haven’t!) you should go. There are a few good drive-ins around LA to choose from. Last week, I caught Pirates 4 at the Mission Tiki Drive-In near Pomona, which has a fabulously decked-out retro tiki snack bar. There’s also the Vineland Drive-In in City of Industry. Devil’s Night Drive In takes place once a month in Downtown LA, on the 2nd floor roof parking lot at 240 W. 4th Street, and they have carhops to serve you food!
Sadly, most of the other drive-ins in LA county are shuttered (the LA county page on Roadsidepeek.com is almost like a tragic graveyard of abandoned drive in sites) but there are a few left somewhat further afield – Riverside has both the Rubidoux and the Van Buren. And the Southern California Drive-In Movie Society is doing what they can to keep people interested and drive-ins open.
Photo by Kenneth Adam.