Drive-In Theater Memories
Ahh, the passion pit. Remember when these were as popular
There was a kind of magic about the drive-in movie theater. I can
still hear the gravel crunching underneath the tires of our car as we entered to find the perfect spot to
watch the movie (depending if you had a date or not.) I still can smell the delicious aroma of the popcorn and
hotdogs coming from the snack bar. Distant memories still exist in my mind of a time when we
loaded up the car for a night at the drive-in movies. I recall the time my buddies and I sneaked in
the drive-in hidden inside of the trunk of a 1951 Chevrolet in which the rear seat would easily pop
out from the trunk. You should have seen the expression on the faces of the people next to us as they
watched as we appeared from nowhere in the back seat of the car. In those days as a young teenager, you
did anything to save a buck.
Families could spend a low-budget entertainment evening at the
drive-in theatre. People brought lawnchairs to watch the movies under the stars while the very little ones
slept in the car with their favorite blanket and pillow. Many families would bring snacks from home to save even
more money. It was not unusual to have special nights where you could bring a carload for five dollars or even
less. Do you remember that? Drive-in movies were so much of the culture of the fifties and sixties. I
have tried and tried to remember the first movie I saw at the drive-in but my memory escapes me, probably due
to the fact that the drive-in theatre was supposed to be around forever, at least in my
The idea of the drive-in theatre didn't really take off until
after World War II. The baby boomer generation made it a hit. In the 1950s more people attended the drive-in than
the in-door theatre. The drive-ins had playgrounds for the kids where they could play before the movie and during
the intermission. You didn't need a baby-sitter and the cost of the family outing was relatively
The drive-in was a perfect date location with the parking for a little necking already
provided. Steamy windshields were evident in all directions. I guess this is where my first love for the
drive-in resulted as a teenager with raging hormones. Of course many girls' parents forbid their daughters to
go on dates at the drive-in to protect them from guys like me. My date and I would attend even against
her parents' wishes. I do remember Goldfinger, starring Sean Connery, was my first
movie I attended with a date.
Today drive-in theatres have gone by the wayside, although
there are a still a few in operation and there is evidence that they may be making a comeback.
In the town I grew up in there were two passion pits and both
no longer exist as in many small towns across this great nation. Now they are lost in the overgrown
grassy fields of urban America. They are friendly ghosts of the past; if only they could speak
and tell us more of these drive-in memories.
For more information about Drive-in Theaters,
Got a special memory of the 60s about drive-in movies? You
can leave it in the guestbook.