At the Drive-In

ted | chicago,driving | Monday, July 7th, 2008

Not the excellent band that later formed The Mars Volta and Sparta, but a real, honest-to-dog movie where one drives in your car in front of a screen and watches a movie or two.

It’d been a long time since we’ve had an Us Night, so we made the executive decision to go to a movie. We’ve been hating on movie theaters for a while now – way overpriced, crowded, annoying jerkwads in the theater always talking on their cell phones, can’t bring in your own beverages, bad sound – so we opted to go to the Melody Drive-In. Yes, it’s in darkest Indiana, a solid 90 minute drive from Our Fair City. The drive-in gives you the freedom to have a much more pleasant moviegoing experience. To wit:

  • It’s cheap. $6 per person for two movies is a bargain, only second to Brew ‘n View at the Vic.
  • You can bring in whatever food you want. We stopped to get a pizza on the way there and had 4 sodas and 4 tallboys of OE “800” with us.
  • Cell phones and uncomfortable, sticky seats aren’t a problem since you can bring blankets, lawn chairs, milk crates or whatever you want to sit on. Some folks just sit in their cars. Some have recliners in the bed of their truck. You’re spread out enough that people in the next row or even right next to you talking on their cell phones aren’t a problem.
  • Distributed sound is better than monolithic sound. True, you don’t get Dolby Digital 47.23089 AC9 buzzword-laden sound, but you can either listen to the given speakers (classic!) or use any FM radio to make your sound as loud as you want.

We had a great time. Wall-E was surprisingly good and The Incredible Hulk was the usual yawnfest “we were able to cram some plot in cracks in the CGI” summer action movie and we had a thoroughly decent time of it all.

I remember, as a kid, riding past a drive-in theater that was projecting a movie and being amazed at the size of the screen. This had to be easily 20 years ago and the North end of Carrollton has sprawled along US27 at an alarming rate so I know the screen’s no longer there, much less the projectors or lot. Never got a chance to go to drive-in until last year and I think they’re great. Given the choice betwixt a standard theater and a drive-in, I’ll pick the one that lets me drink beer, eat cheap pizza and have a nice time the way I want – it’ll be the drive-in every time.

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