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Enjoy Movies in Your Car at the Drive-in Movie Theater

by George on September 8, 2010

Most people under the age of 40 cannot recall the last time they went to a drive-in movie theater, while most people under the age of 20 have probably never even heard of one. Too bad, it’s a great experience – and one you can still have.

An American original, the drive-in movie theater!

The drive-in movie theater is an American original that continues to shine.

Although the number of drive-in movie theaters is down about 90% from its peak in the 1960’s, the popularity of them is on an upswing. Apparently, baby-boomer’s are feeling a sense of nostalgia for the drive-in experience and introducing a new generation to the mystique of sitting in your car and watching a movie … outdoors.

The nostalgia isn’t misplaced. A night at the local drive-in might lack the cultural brio of a night at the opera, but nothing harkens back to a simpler time more readily than an evening outside under the stars. Its worth noting that the drive-in experience has great appeal for a variety of reasons, but its history is a rich tale of social import.

It achieved a certain cultural notoriety as a location for teenage sexual antics in olden times, and it remains a distinct possibility that today’s teenagers are also having sex there if they are aware there are drive-ins and that their obsession with texting affords an opportunity for sexual congress.

Admittedly, performing physical acts of sexual intimacy in the privacy of your car might seem a little weird if you’re doing it either alone or while parked in front of a convenience store, but in the bygone era of the drive-in’s eminence, it was one of the few places the American teenager could reasonably sully the family Buick’s headliner with footprints or DNA evidence.

Certainly, the drive-in was destined to become a cultural touchstone of America for more than the specter of teenager humping. It celebrated the mobility of a nation, the glamour of Hollywood movies, and justified the 149″ inch wheelbase of the 1968 Cadillac Fleetwood. Nothing could be more American.

The concept of the drive-in does go back to the 1930’s, long before the strident march of modern technology or the socialized concept of a friend “with benefits”. It provided a social outlet that was an odd mix of public and private time. It often served as a barometer for measuring both the comparative sensuality of dating couples and the relative humidity of the surrounding air. This is known today as the “dew point”.

Back then, the heating of the air inside the car, caused by the increased rates of respiration, themselves caused by steady – and then – relentless macking and subsequent, inevitable episodes of gratuitous friction of the occupants, one of whom clearly had a great set of tits, would eventually cause condensation to form on the windows and other cooler surfaces. At this time the mercifully fogged windows would provide the opportunity for the couple to “do” it with a bit more discretion. Today, we define the “dew point” more scientifically, but clearly it had a more ignominious beginning, no?

You were at the drive-in to see and be seen, and its essence is largely untouched today. Fortunately, technology could move such a great idea forward, without actually killing it – and it has.

Cars are now more comfortable and feature-rich. Even sub-compacts come with reclining seats and speakers far more advanced than those of the 1960’s. SUV’s and minivans provide additional elevation to view the screen and the option of viewing the movie out of the back of the lift-gate. Just be aware that although minivans and SUVs provide basement-sized room for acting out bondage fantasies, leaving the lift-gate open might alter the dew point, if not make it impossible to achieve.

Today’s cars are generally short enough in overall length to allow you enough room to spread a blanket and/or setup lawn chairs¬†in front of the car to view the movie from. Keep in mind that employing a picnic blanket or lawn chairs should preclude you from performing most acts of sexual intimacy while using either. (Acts of sexual intimacy are still best performed at home, under the direction of clergy).

The drive-in facilities have improved, too. Gone are the pole-mounted speakers and their tinny, mono-channel soundtrack. Today’s drive-in broadcasts the movie soundtrack on the FM band in stereo. New Xenon lamps, platter movie systems, and improved projectors have improved reliability and the overall video experience behind the scenes. No longer will the chant of “Oh god, oh god, oh god – fuuuuucccck meeee!” become a startlingly, obvious screech everyone can hear due to the unexpected silence caused by a broken film reel.

The concession stand still offers a large variety of foods – although probably nothing very healthy. Duh. Still, you do have the option of bringing your own, healthy food. Ugh.

The drive-in remains a bargain when considered in parallel with the corporate-owned monoliths found at your local mall. The admissions are typically less and include the opportunity to see two movies. Many still offer a per-car-load rate.

The concession prices are typically lower, too. Even if they were the same, you could still offset the overall cost of food by simply bringing it with you. For a family looking for a night out at a reasonable rate, a night at the drive-in is cheaper than seeing a AAA baseball game – or the price of a motel room and rented porn. At least that’s what I’m told.

Yes, the drive-in is still part of our American experience. To indulge in this pastime simply¬†find a drive-in near you. Although “near” is a relative term, so is “dew point”.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Brynn Schnyer April 25, 2011 at 10:44 am

I just added your blog site to my blogroll, I pray you would give some thought to doing the same.

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