Drive-In Theater Thrill

Drive-In Theater Thrill

This past weekend we didn’t have to travel far to enjoy one of America’s  vintage pastimes: the Drive-In Theater. We have one here in our home town of Fort Collins. At least once or twice every summer we try to make it over to the Holiday Twin Drive-In Theater where its motto is “the place to be!’

Growing up in southern California, our family frequently went to drive-in theaters to see movies. It was cheap admission and we could bring our own food. I was so delighted when we first moved to Fort Collins to find there was one here to take our own kids to.

Last I checked, there were about 400 drive-in theaters remaining in the United States. At one time there were as many as 4,000. This particular theater is only one of six still operating in Colorado. It’s a family-owned business. The owners and staff are so well organized directing all the cars, vans, and trucks tucking them all neatly into their parking spots.

There are two screens each featuring the latest features and the sound is broadcast over your vehicle’s radio (sadly, the old speakers perched on a pole are gone). The movie doesn’t start until dusk which in summer hours can be as late as 9:30 p.m. . But the customers take advantage of this by throwing frisbees, footballs, and playing board games. Little toddlers run around wearing their pajamas and many pet dogs (on leashes) accompany their families for the evening.

Eating also helps to pass the time quite nicely. Many people have tailgate meals. Fold-up chairs, tables and blankets are brought along for their drive-in theater picnics. We no longer bring food from home because the snack bar has handcrafted burgers and bratwursts grilled on an outdoor barbeque. The aroma is hard to resist! Buttery (not artificial) popcorn is a movie-watching-must. On the car radio’s frequency, the theater owners broadcast popular music tunes from the 1960’s, which even entrenches more fun memories for me. Yes, summer life continues to be good here!

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