Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Let's All Go to the Snack Bar...

It was a good thing to be a teenager, as of today 79 years ago, or at least a teenager with access to a car, for on this day in 1933, the very first drive-in movie opened up.

Much later - yes, even I'm not quite old enough to have been there in '33 - the drive-in was someplace my older siblings could go to only if they dragged me along, my parents' flawed reasoning being that, with me in the backseat in my footie pajamas, my brothers would refrain from bad behavior with those fast girls from the wrong side of Sassafras Street, or my sister would more successfully than was her wont defend herself from the attentions of her most constant suitor, our third cousin Bobby who drove his father's old Delta 88.

I mostly did sleep, but when I didn't would find myself trying (over the heaving shoulders in the front seat) to decipher what was going on up on the big screen.  Frequently it seemed to have something to do with stewardesses.  I'm just glad they had the minimal smarts not to take me to Night of the Living Dead - when I finally did see that one, it kept me up for a week, and I was 21 (and very stoned, but that's another story).

It's too bad, I think, that there aren't locally created ads like this any more; it's hard to imagine a paper running a promo for, say, The Hunger Games, as "the picture all El Paso is talking about!"


  1. I remember those city specific ads too! Drive-ins were always weird but fun experiences and I miss the funky charm of them.

    On an unrelated note but one that I was sure you would find interesting today would be the 100th birthday of that empress of camp Maria Montez! We should all don a jeweled turban in her honor.

  2. are they able to talk in el paso?

  3. Oh, now, I'm sure there are some lovely people in El Paso. Some of them are probably even still at the drive-in, albeit now for flea markets.

    And I can't believe I missed the Montez centenary! It's an outrage. Perhaps I'll make her this weeks Shameless Saturday Camp Explosion, which I'm deciding should be a weekly feature...

  4. My one and only drive-in experience was seeing something at the Route 9 Drive In in Hyde Park back in my college days. I was too drunk to even recall the movie. I believe we were actually parked in the lot/woods adjacent to the actual drive-in.

    Also used to drive past a big drive-in back in Newark near the entrance to the Pulaski Skyway during my NYC B&T party boy days. Always meant to make the trip over to see an actual movie there before it went of business. But the siren song of late 80's Manhattan was too strong. The Monster, 88's, The Tunnel Club, Private Eyes, The Spike, The Eagle, Stonewall, The Hangar and Ty's seemed much more important that living any of my Grease-inspired fantasies of drive-in shenanigans.