Do you like Drive-In movie theaters?

G51989

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Feb 25, 2012
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NYC NY/Pittsburgh PA
I know this is a North American thing more than anything else, but a response in another thread reminded me of what I think is the best kind of movie theater.

Are there any Drive-Ins ,in your area? And if so? Do you go to them?

One of the nice things about living in a somewhat rural area north of NYC is that the town I live in STILL has a 4 screen drive in, that dates back to the 1950s, but is still kept in very good shape. It's big, lots of room, still has those old school radio things you can clip onto your car ( tho I've noticed it doesn't work on newer cars with thie super thick doors ), the FM transmitter and everything. Big centeral projection house with a pretty huge concession building that actually is pretty well priced and the food isn't half bad. And its 15 dollars a car to get in. 20 bucks for a truck or SUV with a lot of people in it.

I personally take the wifey there, either in the Corvette and throw a blanket on the ground in front of it, OR use the F350 and park it backards and use the bed as a place to chillout and watch the movies. My TR6 has seen lots of makeout time at this place as well ;)

For those of you overseas who don't know what a Drive-In is ( The French wife says they dont exist in Europe ), its basically a big field, projection house and a couple of big screens, and a place to get food, with a radio transmitter so you can tune your cars radio into the movie of your choice.

I personally feel that as long as its good weather, its a much better way to watch a movie than a standard theater.
 

Pkupman57

macrumors regular
Apr 18, 2013
147
29
El Lay, CA
We live just outside of Los Angeles, and there are several drive ins around here. The wife and I have gone to one that is almost exactly as you described (multi screen, decent food and prices, FM transmitter, built in the '50s).. We also do the exact thing you do, with our F350. :D

I love it. Its much nicer than a regular movie theater. I know what Im sitting on, in the back of my own truck. Not so much in a movie theater seat. I also have a decent stereo in my truck, and a small lift, so we can park farther back, and have good sound, and see over all the other cars/ppl.
 

macmesser

macrumors 6502a
Aug 13, 2012
805
63
Long Island, NY USA
I know this is a North American thing more than anything else, but a response in another thread reminded me of what I think is the best kind of movie theater.

Are there any Drive-Ins ,in your area? And if so? Do you go to them?

One of the nice things about living in a somewhat rural area north of NYC is that the town I live in STILL has a 4 screen drive in, that dates back to the 1950s, but is still kept in very good shape. It's big, lots of room, still has those old school radio things you can clip onto your car ( tho I've noticed it doesn't work on newer cars with thie super thick doors ), the FM transmitter and everything. Big centeral projection house with a pretty huge concession building that actually is pretty well priced and the food isn't half bad. And its 15 dollars a car to get in. 20 bucks for a truck or SUV with a lot of people in it.

I personally take the wifey there, either in the Corvette and throw a blanket on the ground in front of it, OR use the F350 and park it backards and use the bed as a place to chillout and watch the movies. My TR6 has seen lots of makeout time at this place as well ;)

For those of you overseas who don't know what a Drive-In is ( The French wife says they dont exist in Europe ), its basically a big field, projection house and a couple of big screens, and a place to get food, with a radio transmitter so you can tune your cars radio into the movie of your choice.

I personally feel that as long as its good weather, its a much better way to watch a movie than a standard theater.
Do you live near Geneseo? My niece went to college nearby and always talks about the big drive-in they have up there. My sister's family always looked forward to visiting her at school because they would always pile in the SUV together and go for a show.

I personally love drive-ins for the nostalgia they evoke. There were lot's of them where I live and I enjoyed picking up a carload of friends in my old Chevy wagon and watching a good movie together on a Friday night. Most have closed but a few are still operating.

The screens were huge and the visual experience was excellent, if the weather was good. Sound was never equal to an in-doors theater, but it was nice to be able to converse about the movie while watching it. Kind of like having a private box at the theater.
 

G51989

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Feb 25, 2012
2,506
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NYC NY/Pittsburgh PA
Do you live near Geneseo? My niece went to college nearby and always talks about the big drive-in they have up there. My sister's family always looked forward to visiting her at school because they would always pile in the SUV together and go for a show.

I personally love drive-ins for the nostalgia they evoke. There were lot's of them where I live and I enjoyed picking up a carload of friends in my old Chevy wagon and watching a good movie together on a Friday night. Most have closed but a few are still operating.

The screens were huge and the visual experience was excellent, if the weather was good. Sound was never equal to an in-doors theater, but it was nice to be able to converse about the movie while watching it. Kind of like having a private box at the theater.
No I do not live near Geneseo, but I know where it is and what your talking about, the one here is pretty similar. I've noticed that most of the 400 or so Drive-Ins left in America seem to mostly be in PA and NY, so theres a good number of them up here.

And agreed, the local classic car club often has meets at the drive through, until it gets dark, then they play a movie, its when I bring my 1972 Triumph TR6, it almost feels like your back in the 1960s, until your cell phone vibrates

----------

We live just outside of Los Angeles, and there are several drive ins around here. The wife and I have gone to one that is almost exactly as you described (multi screen, decent food and prices, FM transmitter, built in the '50s).. We also do the exact thing you do, with our F350. :D

I love it. Its much nicer than a regular movie theater. I know what Im sitting on, in the back of my own truck. Not so much in a movie theater seat. I also have a decent stereo in my truck, and a small lift, so we can park farther back, and have good sound, and see over all the other cars/ppl.
Agreed, I don't have a lift or anything, but we just throw a bunch of blankets in the back and turn it into a makeout/movie watching space. Its epic

Tho my personal fave car to go to the drive in is my 1972 Triumph TR6 ;)

I enjoy it as well, esp on a warm summer night.
 

Huntn

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May 5, 2008
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The Misty Mountains
From my memory, outside picture quality sucked if there are any other lights close by and sound quality really sucked. Has that improved (the sound)?
 

G51989

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Original poster
Feb 25, 2012
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NYC NY/Pittsburgh PA
From my memory, outside picture quality sucked if there are any other lights close by and sound quality really sucked. Has that improved (the sound)?
The sound is only as good as your car stereo. And most drive in's aren't around any sources of light, and most of them also have digital projectors, which have vastly improved the quality.
 

Huntn

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May 5, 2008
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The Misty Mountains
The sound is only as good as your car stereo. And most drive in's aren't around any sources of light, and most of them also have digital projectors, which have vastly improved the quality.
The last drive in I went to was in the vicinity of Mountain View Ca, about 30 years ago and there were lights all over... Picture quality suffered, oh and the sound, speakers back then that hung on the window sucked, ;)
 

G51989

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Feb 25, 2012
2,506
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NYC NY/Pittsburgh PA
The last drive in I went to was in the vicinity of Mountain View Ca, about 30 years ago and there were lights all over... Picture quality suffered, oh and the sound, speakers back then that hung on the window sucked, ;)
Maybe its time to try one of the newer ones, with that confanged fancy digital projector not near a city ;)
 

trewyn15

macrumors 6502
May 13, 2013
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0
I think they're fun. They were especially fun when I had the system in my car, it was better than being in the theaters :D
 

Tinmania

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Aug 8, 2011
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Aridzona
I personally feel that as long as its good weather, its a much better way to watch a movie than a standard theater.
Haven't been to a drive-in since leaving NY.

I used to love them. Especially when growing up. Some of the ones on Long Island had really nice areas for kids--even a few carnival-like rides (safe ones). The food, while still junk food, seemed to be much better than at a typical enclosed theater. I would imagine they knew they had to compete with bring-your-own snacks so tried to outdo that to attract sales (and based on the lines I remember during intermission they succeeded). Even had not-bad knishes

Oh, I remember there was often the clown who arrived after the movie had started who didn't turn off their headlights--much to the dismay of the other customers.



Michael
 

sviato

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Oct 27, 2010
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HR 9038 A
There's one about 15-20 mins away that I go to a few times during the summer. It's like $12 for a carload on a Tuesday for 2 movies!

It's also a great place to take a girl ;)
 

Astroboy907

macrumors 65816
May 6, 2012
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Spaceball One
I live within an hour of two different drive-ins (in Idaho, no less!). They thought they were going to have to close it down though because film is out and they don't have the cash for a projector. Right now it's uncertain wether they will close or not... :(
 

JackieInCo

Suspended
Jul 18, 2013
5,178
1,584
Colorado
I live within an hour of two different drive-ins (in Idaho, no less!). They thought they were going to have to close it down though because film is out and they don't have the cash for a projector. Right now it's uncertain wether they will close or not... :(
Same problem here with one of the two drive-ins here in Colorado. They have no cash to afford the new projectors and not as many people go to the theater anymore.
 

G51989

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Original poster
Feb 25, 2012
2,506
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NYC NY/Pittsburgh PA
Same problem here with one of the two drive-ins here in Colorado. They have no cash to afford the new projectors and not as many people go to the theater anymore.
Yeah that is a problem, hopefully it will get better as projectors get cheaper.

The one up in the town I'm in is open Thrusday-Sunday and is normally packed every night, so its all pretty up to date and in good condition.

I gotta say the best Drive-In I've ever been to is in Pittsburgh PA, called the Twin Highway, place not only still looks brand new, but looks like it came out of the 1950s, probably because it did.
 

satcomer

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Feb 19, 2008
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The Finger Lakes Region
Yes I miss them terribly! I have fond memories of my first R rated film, Jaws. They played Fantasia before and my parents thought I would fall asleep before the second film.
 

rhett7660

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Jan 9, 2008
12,229
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Sunny, Southern California
The last drive in I went to was in the vicinity of Mountain View Ca, about 30 years ago and there were lights all over... Picture quality suffered, oh and the sound, speakers back then that hung on the window sucked, ;)
This was my last experience at a drive in also. About 20 or so years ago. All of them around me closed down and are now shopping centers. I know there are a few outside of my area I just haven't been.
 

satcomer

macrumors 603
Feb 19, 2008
6,301
931
The Finger Lakes Region
From my memory, outside picture quality sucked if there are any other lights close by and sound quality really sucked. Has that improved (the sound)?
I remember in the 80's the local one in Upstate NY was the drive-in went to FM radio that could cover the whole grounds. I guess living a semi-rural county it didn't interfere with other radio signals.
 

Tinmania

macrumors 68040
Aug 8, 2011
3,454
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Aridzona
I remember in the 80's the local one in Upstate NY was the drive-in went to FM radio that could cover the whole grounds. I guess living a semi-rural county it didn't interfere with other radio signals.
I had friends on Long Island who lived next to a drive-in and when the FM thing started they got to watch all movies--now with sound--for free. Well, if you can call viewing the screen at a 45 degree angle and through a fence an enjoyable way to watch a movie.




Michael