Family Life, Savoring Simple Moments

Enjoy the Show

Near our house, nestled between a baseball field and a cemetery lays an empty field. For those who have lived in our city within the last 20 years, they may not have a clue what this place used to be. But I have many fond memories of this place as it was a destination for me, my siblings, and my parents on many family nights. It used to be full of people and activity. If you were to explore this desolate area, you would notice metal poles in the ground evenly spaced throughout and a couple of huge white walls towering over the vast openness of this place. This used to be the home of our local drive-in movie theater. Thousands of these establishments were found throughout the United States, but sadly, many have gone extinct, making way for the more luxurious stadium-style seating of multiplex cinemas and IMAX theaters.

Buena Vista: Abandoned Comanche Drive-In Movie Theater

Fraser Valley Pulse Spotlight - Twilight Drive-In Movie TheatreWe are so fortunate to have a drive-in theater still near us … only about a 15-minute drive. And this summer, it has become a family favorite. What’s not to love about the drive-in movie theater? You can bring your own snacks, recline in your seat, or have a little tail-gate party before the sun sets and the feature presentation begins. With the back seats removed, we laid out blankets on the floor of our van and enjoyed the experience of an outdoor movie theater on a beautiful, warm summer night. The only down side is that the movie let out so late. We made do by dressing the kids in their pajamas, and they fell fast asleep on the way home. We’ll definitely be coming back.

If you have one nearby, I hope you get a chance to go before it eventually ends up in the drive-in graveyard.


(Photo credit 1: eliduke)
(Photo credit 2: Fraser Valley Pulse & Metro Vancouver Pulse)

18 thoughts on “Enjoy the Show”

  1. Such a wonderful post!! Is that abandoned drive-in photo a place near you? That is in amazing condition… the ones I have explored are majorly overgrown and very few have screens remaining.

    I visit the drive-in near me often, and my boyfriend and I have begun exploring other ones open (although they are a bit further away!).

    Great post, thanks for sharing! πŸ™‚

    1. I borrowed the picture on the post from Flickr. It does remind me of the one near my house. But, I passed by that area recently and noticed the screens were taken down, so any remnant that would even remind me of what was once there seems to be gone. 😦
      We went back to the drive-in again last week and took 3 other families with us. So much fun having a little tailgate party! I wonder if they’ll allow us to bring barbecue grills next time?? πŸ™‚
      Did you read some of the other comments? It’s amazing how people have so many fond memories of drive-ins, but they are disappearing so quickly now … bittersweet. Thank you for taking the time to comment!

  2. We have two drive-ins near us! We visit them every so often with the kiddos and enjoy a double-feature. They really like the experience, but they aren’t as inexpensive as they used to be. They are about the same price as a regular movie ticket. You no longer get charged per car, but $7 per person! Ouch!

    1. I was surprised too when they charged per person because that’s not how I remembered it used to be. Our drive-in usually does family nights once a week when they lower their prices a bit, so that’s when we try to go.

  3. Times spent at the drive-in are some of my fondest memories. There’s still one in Belleville, IL, and when I was little they had pony rides, a fire truck and a wagon that the kids rode in. We used to get there an hour before the movie started just so we could ride the ponies. Thanks for these rekindling these memories. πŸ˜‰

  4. In our town there is an abandoned drive in. I remember going to the drive in as a child dressed in my pajamas and spent many Friday and Saturday nights as a teen there. The other day as a friend and I passed the old abandoned drive in I said to her I wonder if we bought it and opened it if people would come? I have many great memories of the drive in. Thank you for this post, I enjoyed it πŸ™‚

    1. I would totally go if I lived in your town! The drive-in we go to has become quite popular, especially for families with young children, who can’t sit still in a movie theater. I also see a lot of groups (like sports teams and youth groups) going there for social events. Then, there are people, like me, who would just go for sentimental reasons.

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