Friday, November 04, 2005

LET MY PEOPLE GO... TO THE DRIVE-IN!


The Mission Tiki has turned into my favorite playground-- even in the fall/winter season it's a great place to see a movie and spend time with friends. I whiled away the last two Saturday nights out there-- both were most excellent evenings filled with the company of superb friends-- and the Southern California Drive-In Movie Society has scheduled their next meeting for the Mission Tiki on November 19. So there's lots of stuff to talk about, and pictures to share. But I promised myself (and my wife) I'd get to bed early tonight, so let me just note that I'll post a big Mission Tiki article by early next week. At the same time I'll remind everyone of their fantastic new Web site and also direct your attention to their "Links" page, where you will find Yours Truly, Sergio Leone and the Infield Fly Rule, as a featured go-to spot. Thanks to Frank Huttinger at De Anza for the honor, and as always to Jeff for being a fine and hospitable host at the Mission Tiki, even when unforeseen circumstances and the tactlessness of people could always give you a good excuse to be just the opposite.

A drive-in note for SLIFR readers in the Willamette Valley of my beloved home state, Oregon: filmmaker and drive-in aficionado nonpareil Steve Swanson, a longtime associate of Brian Francis and the good folks at the 99W in Newberg, has directed a nifty documentary entitled West Coast Drive-Ins, and will be presenting two screenings of the film in person (3:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.) on November 12 at Paul Turner's Darkside Cinema, ground zero for cutting edge independent art film in the W.V., located in Corvallis, Oregon. And if you can't make the director screenings, fret not: the Darkside will be showing West Coast Drive-Ins all during the following week. Turner envisions a continuing showcase for local independent filmmakers, and he's chosen a terrific movie to get things kick-started. Drive-in fans really should make an effort to see what Swanson has put together here-- it's a loving tribute, memorial, and an encouraging update on the state of drive-in theaters up and down the West Coast, and it's shot through with the director's intense love for this unique form of movie exhibition. Swanson visited the Southern California Drive-In Movie Society when the club met in Riverside, California, at the Van Buren Drive-in in July-- he was on a three-week tour of as many drive-ins as he could visit-- and he couldn't have been a more personable fellow, possessed of an encyclopedic knowledge of American drive-in history and personal experience with far more ozoners than I could ever dream of visiting in my lifetime. If you can swing it, the Darkside Cinema's special screenings of Steve Swanson's West Coast Drive-ins is well worth the drive from Dallas (home of the Motor Vu Drive-in), Newberg (home of the 99W Drive-in), Milton-Freewater (home of the M-F Drive-in) or anyplace else in the state of Oregon where drive-in movie memories still hold their sway.

Finally, Halloween has passed, but it's never too late to celebrate horror films, or any other kind of films, when you get to see them at the drive-in, and that's just what Birdman at the blog site Mumbo Jumbo has done. His is an enthusiasm I think all of us who love drive-ins can understand. Thanks to Elvis Lives, one of the regulars in our drive-in discussion group for the tip on this piece.

More from the Mission Tiki next week. Support your local drive-in!

3 comments:

blaaagh said...

I was really impressed and excited to see a grand old drive-in being reborn in these times: the new marquee sign, the spruced-up snack bar, the superb projection, etc. Hope this starts a resurgence of drive-ins; it's just as much fun as it ever was when the place is run right, as the Mission Tiki is.

blaaagh said...

There's something about the drive-in, by the way, that makes me keep telling everyone I talk with about my last trip there; for the past two weeks I've been talking about the Amazing Reanimated Drive-In and my recent night there, and most people get a certain light in their eyes (nostalgia? jealousy?). Just this evening we had some people over. and my mention of the drive-in spurred a whole series of recollections about past drive-in experiences. Ah well, I keep thinking about how fun it was, and how not-run-down, and how not-sad the Mission Tiki was. What a cool place...when can I come down again??

Dennis Cozzalio said...

I can tell you, no time is too soon if we can figure one out! In fact, I'm off to the Mission Tiki this coming Saturday night...