Drive-In Movie


It is a muggy summer evening, sometime in the early 1960s, and countless teenagers are preparing to enjoy some Saturday excitement, boys in their sporty cars and girls dressed in their pretty sundresses; dating couples looking forward to viewing some non-descript entertainment and consuming some tasty snack foods, hot dogs, hamburgers, French fries and ice-cold soft drinks are in our near future.

Do you want to guess about our favorite destination to congregate during a sultry weekend?  Here are additional clues; it was not a skating rink, or a bowling alley; it was also not the local cafe or a putt-putt golf course; our favorite entertainment spot was the drive-in movie but in Stewart, Webster and Schley County, we had to drive about thirty miles to arrive at our destination.

For a small admission price you and your date could sit in the car and pretend to be watching a usually terrible flick but the important thing was having fun; by the way do you remember "The Creature from the Black Lagoon"?  I believe that it was the feature movie at least once a month at the drive-in movie in Americus.

We lived in a rural area so we were required to drive to Americus or Columbus to attend a drive-in movie; because one establishment located on Victory Drive in Columbus was off-limits to most of us girls, I am not going to say anything else about that locale.   As far as our parents knew, we only attended the drive-in movie in Americus.  As soon as we arrived at the Sunset Drive-in we rode around and around, trying to locate the best spot.

We hoped to discover a perfect parking place; which meant a space that included a working speaker.  Most of the devices had a short life span; either it succumbed to inclement weather conditions or to the carelessness of a teenage driver.  Many of the patrons drove off without disconnecting an amplifier, which resulted in countless incapacitated speakers discarded in the trunk of a car.

The entrance gate always opened long before the concessions stand was ready to serve food so we had plenty of time to hang out before the cartoon and the feature.  After standing in line to use the restroom and then placing our complicated orders, we passed the time chatting with our friend.  The fresh popcorn was always piping hot and delivered in those cute red and white boxes.

If you waited late to purchase your food then you might meet up with the notorious drive-in clown; remember that irritating boy who attended the movie alone and tried his best to ruin everyone's good time.  He was the same obnoxious person who sometimes sat next to you in the lunchroom and got you in trouble with the teacher.

I remember the playground for the little children down in front of that humongous screen; I guess older folks enjoyed going to the drive-in too but that is all I am going to comment about that.


Brenda S. Brown 


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