I’m not being hyperbolas. It was a genuine godsend for me to discover that there was an operational drive-in movie theater within driving distance for me, and that this theater would be showing this past weekend not one but two brand spanking new first-run Horror movies straight off their Indy debuts. After two months of not having any kind of entertainment of the sort, I had no problem, no problem at all, making the considerable road trip to get there. And if they show more movies that I want to see, I’ll go back again next weekend.
Going to a drive-in is a blast of nostalgia anyway, even if one never experienced the grand age of drive-ins. By the time I made my entrance onto the world stage, that age was coming to an end. But like any history buff, I have no problem appreciating, psychically projecting myself, even, back to a different time, to experience it vicariously. And in addition to its being a drive-in period, in a day when drive-ins are rare, visiting the King Drive-In in Russellville, Alabama is like stepping—or driving—back in time. The place, the oldest in the State, I learned, one of the oldest in the country, opened in 1949. It looks like it hasn’t changed at all since then, except maybe the screen has been repainted a few times. They no longer have audio boxes for a patron to hang from his car window—the movie is now broadcast over your radio—but the baskets that held those speakers is still there. And the projector these days is digital.
I met the owner, a lovely old man, who was the guy at the gate taking tickets. Nostalgia at its most potent. A beautiful warm night under the stars, watching a couple of movies. Horror movies, at that. And good ones! (Read my reviews on both of them here on this site this week.) Like I said, a godsend.