Summer’s here, and the drive-ins are open.Posted: June 18, 2013
Summer has finally arrived in Minnesota. After suffering through too many chilly, gray, damp months I am ridiculously, insanely grateful for this forecast:
Though we continue to have at least a little rain almost every day, the weather has been good for the last week or so. I’ve been spending every possible moment outside – driving with the windows down, writing on whatever patio or deck I can find, playing Zombies, Run! with my dog – all in an effort to thaw my perma-frozen bones. It wasn’t until Ogre took me to the drive-in, however, that I really began to believe the never-ending winter was done.
We saw Man of Steel. It’s a good thing that the whole drive-in experience is a blast in its own right, because the movie sucked. (Well, that’s a little harsh – I thought the actual plot was fairly interesting. The action scenes were just too damn action-y for my taste. In the final third of the movie – all of which was devoted to the “epic-battle” this genre requires – I found myself wishing for a fast forward button … I wanted to see the resolution, but I was bored of all the over-the-top bashing and smashing and zipping and whizzing.)
Luckily, the film wasn’t bad enough to ruin an otherwise awesome night. (I’m not sure ANY movie is bad enough to spoil the drive-in.) The inherent romance and nostalgia of the environment is irresistible. After we found our spot, we abandoned the car and strolled. It was a little like looking through a scrapbook. We saw a handful of couples that were our age – as we passed them, nods of recognition and acknowledgement were exchanged. We saw families with teenagers, school-age kids, toddlers – and each family reminded us of our children, and of a particular stage of our life together. We saw groups of adolescents that made us think about friends we haven’t seen in years. We saw young couples – who brought back memories better not detailed here.
I kept looking for a really old couple. When I finally spotted a white-haired pair – sitting in two luxurious-looking stadium chairs, all wrapped up in snuggies and holding hands – it was as if they were making me a promise.
Or, maybe, they were just the catalyst that inspired the Ogre and I to make a promise to each other – we will never again let a summer pass without at least one trip to the drive-in.
As for this summer, we have agreed to go as often as possible. Since we’ve moved to civilization, the Vali-Hi is an easy twenty minute drive from home, so we have no excuse not to. Next time, though, we’ll be better prepared. We’d forgotten how to maximize the fun (and value) of the drive-in, but it all started coming back to us as soon as we pulled up to the gate.
Later this week I’ll share our list of tips AND a round-up of this summer’s most promising upcoming horror / thriller movies. (I’ll also tell you about the fantastic, horror, triple-bill that ignited our love affair with the drive-in.)
Wouldn’t now be a good time to google the location of the drive-in nearest you?