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A Night at the Drive-In

Greetings blog peepers,

I know I should be recovering from a hangover after party-ing BIGTIME with the stars of fanfest. However, I wanted to share my account of a night at the drive-in.

The drive-in cinema is the only place where the two greatest icons of the 20th century, the car and the motion picture, come together. Under dark skies and night stars, you get to enjoy a movie in the comfort of your car. WOW.
 
There were no drive-ins where I grew up in the U.K. A chilly winter night at a drive-in in Britain? I don’t think so.
 
So on a wickedly warm evening recently, I ventured to Concord to the West Wind Solano Drive-In for a piece of this American phenomenon, unsure of what was to come, besides of course a decent movie, I hope. Our car was packed with blankets and pillows, peanuts and refreshments. I was not going to go without comfort or snacks on this night. We were fully prepared.
 
This two screen drive-in stood barren and uninviting as I and a few friends pulled up one hour before the movie start time. There was an "interesting" assortment of cars waiting to file in to the parking lot. The vehicles, a mixture of muscle cars, trucks and convertibles.
 
The cover price, by the way, was an agreeable $6.50 per person. A deal if ever there was.
 
As drive-in virgins, we weren’t sure if the car should be at the back of the lot, up front, off to the side … decisions, decisions? We chose a good spot left of center, a few cars back from the front of the drive-in. Around us people were pulling up in cars packed with kids, armed with coolers full of beers and sodas as well as boxes full of snacks. I was a tad culture-shocked.
 
It was almost show time, the sun disappeared as the sky faded to black. I was beginning to think this was a good idea, even though I was unsure at first. The initial sight of families and pets within earshot was in truth a little alarming.
 
Engines off, stereos broadcast the movie audio. Under a blanket of night sky peppered with stars, it was show time, TRANSFORMERS were a go.


At the Solano Drive-In, it was Ratatouille or Transformers.


With drive-in virgins Chris and Tony.


Not sure about this drive-in thing. Too many kids and unleashed dogs.


An assortment of banged-up muscle cars, trucks, convertibles and SUVs.


A thumbs-up from Ricky.


The closing scenes from Transformers.

I loved my first drive-in experience, an almost lost piece of Americana. In Concord, at least, it’s as popular as ever. It was worth the one-hour drive for the experience. I will do it again.

Check out the West Wind Solano Drive-In at www.drive-ins.com/theater/catsola.