remembering the Drive-in theatre.
The last great money-saving, entertainment for parents of the 60’s and 70’s. We would only go about once a month, but the planning that went into that venture was worthy of any military invasion.
Mom would set her quarters aside in a separate jar for the movie fund. When we got to 5.00 We could start to plan.
First there was figuring out which theater to go to. There were five in the area and they all showed different genre of movies each week. Diane liked the dopey love stories, I wanted the horror movies and Steven wanted the latest cartoon. We would have contests to see who got to pick. Usually it was the one who hit the hardest. I got to see a lot of horror movies in my youth.
Then there was the snack planning. We would pop a big brown grocery bag full of popcorn and cover it with butter. PB&J sandwiches and gallon jugs of Kool-aid. Usually that day, I would walk the two miles to the party store, collecting bottles and cans along the way, so I could buy a candy bar to take with me. Since Diane was too lazy to collect anything I always had to share with her, and that sucked, but mom made me. So I’d get Milk duds or something with lots of little pieces so I would only have to give her a couple and claim it was half.
So it’s the evening of the movie. We are all so excited. Mom puts us in our jammies about an hour before sundown and loads up the car. Pillows, blankets, cooler, popcorn, barf bag for Diane, socks and shoes for potty runs, and the ever popular and indispensable “mosquito coil”. A wonderful hot burning item that you place in your vehicle and it produces the most irritating smoke and awful stench. But it worked and you could keep the windows open and enjoy the air.
It would only take a few minutes to get to any of the five theatres near us. For 5.00 a carload, the whole family could escape for four hours.
Sometimes we would take lawn chairs with us and sit out in front of the car. The kids all knew each other so we would run and play if the movie was boring. Which the first one always was. The second movie was always the headliner and we loved it. We got to stay up late, run around in our jams, eat fun food (which we never got at home) and play.
By the end of the night we usually had to search out our parents, they tended to gather into groups with their “grown up kool-aid and chat. A lot of the time though, we were asleep by the end of the second movie and would wake up, tucked into bed, with a faint taste of popcorn on your tongue. You smile, think about the wonders you saw earlier that night and start to wonder when the next 5.00 will be.