“He’s too nervous to kill himself. He wears his seat belt in a drive-in movie.”

If I were Mother Nature, today would be among my finest creations. The sun is brilliant, the sky a dark blue, a slight breeze rustles the leaves and the air is clear and comfortable. Earlier, I was on the deck reading my papers and it took such a long time. I kept stopping to watch the birds at the feeders and Gracie run through the yard with her deflated basketball in her mouth. She looked joyful. almost prancing, playing in the coolness of the morning. She came on the deck and sat down beside me. I read the papers and absent-mindedly patted Gracie the whole time.

Gracie and I are going to the dump later. The trash is out by the car waiting to be loaded. Poor Gracie hasn’t been riding much as it has been too hot for her to be left while I did errands, but I always take her with me to the dump.

Wellfleet still has a drive-in movie theater. Dennis used to, but it was demolished years ago. That was my favorite of all the drive-ins. It was small and it was surrounded by trees. It was like being in your own backyard. Bugs were plentiful, but you loaded up on mosquito spray before you went so they pretty much left you alone. We used to pack a picnic basket, a tradition my father started. When I was a kid, we brought our own snacks to the drive-in as the ones in the refreshment stand were so expensive. Our adult picnic basket was a bit more elaborate. We filled thermos bottles with drinks, alcoholic drinks, and had crackers and cheese and fancy hors d’oeuvres. We’d put out our lawn chairs and sit by the speaker. We always used glasses, never plastic, and real forks and knives; however, I do admit we used paper napkins.

I thought it was a tragedy when they closed that drive-in, but land had become more valuable than a screen, speakers and some parking spots; however, most of that land remains untouched. Some of it became part of a vegetable farm, but that’s gone too. Only the shed where they sold their produce is still there but it is falling apart, a victim of the weather. Most people don’t know that behind a section of trees on a pretty well-traveled road is an open spot which used to be the drive-in. I think of it every time I go by those trees and I sigh a bit for what’s now gone.

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16 Comments on ““He’s too nervous to kill himself. He wears his seat belt in a drive-in movie.””

  1. Cuidado Says:

    We still have an old fashioned drive in here. It starts past my bedtime so I can’t go. Last time we went my son was 16. He’s soon to be 36. He had to drive home because I was so tired, I kept making wrong turns.

    • katry Says:

      Cuidado,
      I keep trying to get friends to go to the drive-in down Cape in Wellfleet, but no one will. I even volunteered to bring the food. It is a bit of a ride from here which is the reason I suppose, and some of my friends are asleep watching TV by 9-they’d never make a double feature.

  2. olof1 Says:

    It would have been so fun to go to a drive-in! It’s impossible to have them here during summer because itΓ€’s light almost 18 hours so the movie wouldn’t start until around 12 at night πŸ™‚ we could have it in winter but who wants to freeze in a car just to see a movie πŸ™‚ :-.)

    It drizzled most parts of the day here but every now and again the rain poured down and I thought we might get thunder but it never came. Cool and nice all day though, the heat will return so the humidity will be nasty I’m afraid.

    Have a great day!
    Christer.

    • katry Says:

      Christer,
      Even here in the summer the movie starts after 8 because it is too light until then. As the summer goes on, the movie starts earlier and earlier.

      We used to go to the drive-in a lot. My grandfather had a pass from the owner, and it didn’t cost us anything to get in. The only problem was my father never wanted to be stuck in line so he always left before the movie ended. I missed the endings of too many movies to count.

      Still lovely here today!

  3. Ilka Normile Says:

    My favorite movie marquee of all time was posted at the Wellfeet Drive

  4. Ilka Normile Says:

    ( oops, sorry) Drive-in:
    Tonight’s double feature–
    Silence of the Lambs and Dances With Wolves

    • katry Says:

      Ilka,
      Either a genius put these two films together or someone witless.

      When I was young, the first film was always a kid movie and the second was for adults as they figured the kids would be asleep by then.

      This double bill means no kids.

  5. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    We used to go to the drive-in in North Reading a lot. We’d go to Kitty’s for dinner and then the drive-in. It had a playground down in front of the screen and we kids would be there until the movie started when we’d go back to the car.
    The last time I was in a drive-in I saw Star Wars. The very first Star Wars film. Drive-ins were a dying breed even then.

    Another perfect summer day up here as well. I went to lunch with my sister-in-law, niece and nephew. I had to send my burger back twice, once for really over cooked and once for being raw on the outside.
    But we were on the outside deck overlooking the river, the weather was perfect, the company was pleasant, there were no time constraints and the restaurant comped my meal so who can complain πŸ™‚
    Enjoy this lovely day.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      We went there a few times, but the pass we had was for the one in Burlington right off 128.

      I think every drive-in had a playground with kids in pajamas and robes on the slides and swings.

      I really want to go to the Wellfleet drive-in, but I guess I’m the only one.

      More than not I order a cheese hamburger when i go out as I seldom make one for myself at home. I love sweet potato fries with it. There is a pub close by which has the best burgers.

      Smart move to comp your meal!

      Have a great evening!!

  6. Coleen Burnett Says:

    IIRC, the first drive in was created in NJ, in Collingswood, NJ.

    We had a drive-in in nearby Eatontown when I was a kid. It was called the Community, and if you drove down Route 35 going north (after dark) you could get a free peek as you whizzed by…

    I mostly remember the Community as a indoor theatre. First movie I remember was Mary Poppins. I also remember seeing Saturday Night Fever there. It’s been replaced by condos.

    I also remember seeing Sound of Music at the Paramount Theatre in Asbury Park. THAT’S still there. So now you have an idea of my age… πŸ™‚

    Lovely day here…

    Waving from Jersey (once again),

    Coleen

    .

    • katry Says:

      Coleen,
      I didn’t know that about NJ so you got me curious. The first one opened on June 6, 1933 and was called the Park-In Theater and was located on Crescent Boulevard in Camden, New Jersey. in the late 1950s to mid-60s, the hey-day of the drive-in, there were some 5,000 theaters across the country. Now there are fewer than 500 left.

      I know exactly what you mean by that peek-I did the same thing looking out the back window.

      I don’t remember what movies I saw as we went so often.

      The Yarmouth Drive-in was closed and the land sold. There is still, after all these years, nothing there. The ones I went to as a kid are all gone as well. I forget what is there now.

      I figure my movies on the deck are my bringing the drive-in back but it’s now a sit-in so to speak.

      Waving right back on this lovely evening.

  7. Bob Says:

    I don’t even know if there are any drive in movies left in the Dallas area. At one time there was a drive in movie which was surrounded with lots of trees and some high fences. They needed them because they only showed X rated movies πŸ™‚

    I was never a fan because here the heat in the summer is still at 90 degrees at ten o’clock. I think it’s interesting that in most countries a film is called cinema. In New York as a kid we called it a movie, which I still use. When we moved to Texas they called the movie a picture show which they pronounced, “Pitcher show”. English is such a wonderful diverse language.

    What was the weather today, partly cloudy and 100 degrees hot?

    • katry Says:

      Bob,
      There are a few still left in the state, and we’re lucky enough to have one. Ours never showed x-rated movies. They were movies
      for families.

      We aways called it the movies also. The cinema was a bit fancier like the Orson Wells Cinema in Harvard Square. We used to ask,”What’s up at the movies?” That drove a friend of mine crazy who said you should ask what’s showing.

      I still say the movies!

      Great day, but it is warmer now than it has been all day.

  8. Beto Says:

    Perhaps you should post Our Town by Iris Dement to illustrate your emotion.


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