Tuesday, June 23, 2009


(Photo by Sal Gomez)

A series of escalating, multiplying frustrations have led, late on this Tuesday night, to the inexplicabnle disappearance from my Word program of 1,500 or so words I had written and prepared to go along with the photos I took this past weekend on a lovely family trip with the Southern California Drive-in Movie Society to the Skyline Drive-in Theater in Barstow, California. It's near midnight, and my attempt to try and rewrite the piece was greeted by a numb skull and insurmountable (at least for tonight) aggravation over the evaporation of an evening's worth of writing. So rather than lose out on more sleep that I obvious need, I will just post the pictures and hope that they speak clearly enough of the relative sublime experience we all had under the millions of stars visible in the desert sky while Up unspooled in front of us on the Skyline's second screen. I will do my best to reconstruct the piece and attach it to this post tomorrow, when and if I ever stop gritting my teeth.

(Click on the pics for a bigger, better, brighter view.)

The Sklyline Drive-in sits in the middle of nowhere off Old Highway 58 a couple of miles out of town.

As dusk approaches, the cars begin streaming in and the quiet desert hills fill up with the anticipation of a movie under a million stars.

Looking into the sunset, the drive-in ambience becomes magical.

Families and friends settle in for the pre-show fun and relaxation, as important a part of the drive-in experience as the movie itself.

Screen #2 at the Skyline, on an unpaved gravel lot, sits right up next to the desert hills which, when night falls, attain a mysterious beauty that adds immeasurably to the drive-in experience here in Barstow.

The Skyline Drive-in snack bar is an inviting oasis of delicious treats and community camaraderie that has something for everyone, a quaint throwback to great rural drive-in snack bars of the past.

The Lord hits the lights and the show gets underway.

Barstow city lights take on a shimmering beauty as seen flickering behind screen #1. (Photo by Sal Gomez)

And screen #2 provides a pleasing lack of light distraction as the movie casts its spell under the desert darkness.

Southern California Drive-in Movie Society member Warren Myers provides some background on the history of the Skyline Drive-in and a video tour of the theater during the club's July 20 visit.



WelcometoLA said...

And this lovely post reminds me of:

We were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when the drugs began to take hold. I remember saying something like, "I feel a bit lightheaded; maybe you should drive . . ."And suddenly there was a terrible roar all around us and the sky was full of what looked like huge bats, all swooping and screeching and diving around the car, which was going about 100 miles an hour with the top down to Las Vegas. And a voice was screaming: "Holy Jesus! What are these goddamn animals?"

Then it was quiet again. My attorney had taken his shirt off and was pouring beer on his chest, to facilitate the tanning process. "What the hell are you yelling about," he muttered, staring up at the sun with his eyes closed and covered with wraparound Spanish sunglasses. "Never mind," I said. "It's your turn to drive." I hit the brakes and aimed the Great Red Shark toward the shoulder of the highway. No point mentioning those bats, I thought. The poor bastard will see them soon enough.

Dennis Cozzalio said...

THAT'S who those freaks in the convertible Caddy parked next to us were! I thought they looked familiar.

Their somewhat paranoid overreaction to all the vertiginous perspectives in Up made me wonder if they hadn't munched on a blotter or two before show time, so I guess my suspicions were correct!

The Driveindude said...

Hey Larry, "WHAT THE ...."

WelcometoLA said...

What the...what?

blaaagh said...

Those pictures are something else--really special! I wish i could've been there--I had no idea there was something like that in Barstow. Cool! Maybe we can go there when i finally visit, eh?