27 Jun
2014
Posted in: parenting, travel
By    Comments Off on Drive-in Theatres: Bridging the Gap Between Then and Now

Drive-in Theatres: Bridging the Gap Between Then and Now

View from the car at Holiday Twin Drive-in -- Fort Collins, Colorado

I used to play on a rickety merry-go-round trying to avoid splinters while I held on. I was biding my time while the sun dipped farther into the horizon, just waiting for that moment when the movie screen would come alive with dancing concession stand goodies. I’d run back to the car, weaving between vehicles and posts with speakers stretched toward windows.

The drive-in theatre is a highlight from my childhood memory reel. We don’t live close enough to a drive-in to visit often, but we have one located less than four hours from us in a couple of directions. Each summer we turn our need to watch a drive-in movie into a weekend getaway. Our kiddos enjoy the novelty of viewing a movie from our vehicle, but my need to add to my memories of the drive-in is our main catalyst to drive four hours to watch a movie we could easily see in our hometown.

Welcome message on the screen at the Holiday Twin Drive-in

Our favorite drive-in is the Holiday Twin in Fort Collins, Colorado. It offers two screens, showing four movies. One of the screens seems to always show a family-friendly movie first. Each Wednesday in the summer I check the movie listings for the weekend. We’ve been known to change our weekend plans because a movie we want to view is playing. We have yet to make it through a double-feature. One of theses years we’ll add that memory to the reel.

View of Holiday Twin Drive-in adjacent, second screen

The kids wear pajamas to the drive-in, and their excitement is palpable as the long line of cars inches closer to the pay booth. The Holiday Twin no longer has the hanging speakers (although they were an option a few short years ago), sound comes through an FM station, and there is no questionable playground equipment, but the posts preserved in my memory still mark parking spots. We’ll stand in line with 10s of other movie-goers waiting for our turn at the concession stand. My treat of choice as a child was a giant dill pickle. My kiddos dine on a bowl of shaved, flavored ice.

Eating a concession treat at the Holiday Twin Drive-in

As the sun sets, we’ll situate ourselves in the vehicle and listen to the 1950s music. After each song, someone will say, “It’s going to start.” The excitement mounts until, finally, someone is correct and the last song has played. When the screen lights up in all its digital glory, I feel my childhood intertwined with my parenthood. In that moment, part of my past overlaps with part of my kiddos future childhood memories.

 

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