Monday, December 22, 2008

"WHAT WAS IT LIKE GOING TO THE DRIVE-IN MOVIES WHEN YOU WERE A KID, GRANDPA?"




Memo to Los Angeles residents: As we endure this perfectly seasonal cold snap and you’re thinking to yourself, “It’s just too cold to go out to a drive-in movie,” just be glad you don’t live with a drive-in jones in one of the areas of this country where the seasonal weather actually changes for a significant amount of time. Here’s a picture shot this past week by Jack Ondracek, owner of the Rodeo Drive-in in Bremerton, Washington, which indicates the lengths to which some drive-in fans will go to catch a sparkling new Hollywood double feature under cover of stars (or snow clouds) in the great outdoors. Here two die-hard patrons get the best spots on the lot for The Day the Earth Stood Still and Twilight.

Kidding.

Mr. Ondracek is obviously shut down for the season and using his time during the massive snowstorms that have socked in the Pacific Northwest to make some repairs to his establishment. His projected reopen date (an optimistic one, perhaps, by the looks of that picture, anyway): March 2009. Good luck, Mr. Ondracek, and happy projections for the coming year! The picture reminds me of the time my best friend Bruce and I sat through a Dirty Harry triple feature in a February snowstorm in Eugene back in the late ‘70s. I don’t recall there being many more cars on the lot than what you see in the picture above, but I do remember getting dagger eyes from the snack bar staff which suggested that, if not for the two goofballs in the Volkswagen Beetle, they could be home under a heavy wool blanket instead of serving ice-cold popcorn and icier Cokes.

Finally, my apologies regarding the radio silence here at SLIFR over the past week. The last week of school before winter break, combined with terrible service from AT&T affecting my Internet connection, made it impossible to be much of a presence here at my home away from home. But Christmas week holds many treats, including a new holiday quiz, so I hope you’ll stay tuned!

(Photo by Jack Ondracek, courtesy of Steve Swanson)

4 comments:

MovieMan0283 said...

Well, you actually fooled me - and I was kind of disappointed to hear that this isn't what the photo represents. I think I'm just going to keep pretending it's what you said it was...

Lindsay Vivian said...

You fooled me too, don't do that! Triple feature Dirty-harry! We've lost so much, eh? Let's hope Eastwood comes through with Gran Torino! It just may be worth the trip to mission tiki... by the way, guess who got a subscribtion to cinemaretro for Christmas! (I feel so loved)!

Dennis Cozzalio said...

When I first saw the picture I was fooled as well, so I felt like I just had to pass that sense of disorientation along! And I too am still pretending, MovieMan. It's good for my soul.

Lindsay: I saw Gran Torino Friday night and loved it. Unfortunately, it's not on the bill of fare at the Mission Tiki right now, but it would be the rare Eastwood movie that would be bright enough to see well on an outdoor screen. A bunch of us will probably be getting together for a (relatively) frosty drive-in trip in January, and we'd love to have you come along! I'll keep you informed.

And congratulations on the CinemaRetro subscrip! Haha! Somebody beat me to it!

The Driveindude said...

Good one Dennis. My son Seth and I ventured out to the Vineland Sunday night. Not a bad crowd for a Sunday night. The pizza was decent, better than the double feature of Yes Man & Four Christmases.