Day of the Drive-In

Do you remember those days when movie goers head out in their cars and enjoy their movies into the night with the safety and comfort in their own vehicles. Often more than not, even in the age of digital media, the old-time traditions of the drive-in had never died and it came one night… or should I say, last night at the New York Hall of Science. This is, or was the…

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These are my experiences…

After a disappointing run to the Queens Comfort, I decided to substitute the awesomeness of chicken and waffles for chicken waffle tenders from Popeye’s. Admittedly it was really great from the breaded coating what I can assume that was the waffle covering. Anyway two subway trips later, I arrived just when the line developed at the drive-in setup and saw the following.

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I really have no idea what is going on but it was expected to happen on the night of the première. I thought at first that it was some sort of pre-show for the VIP’s or something like that but it’s really a practice run for the real thing that happens tonight. As the sun sets quickly and the fence opens I was treated to walk back to a time when people can watch the movie in the comfort in their own car, rather than the noise, stink and stickiness of the theater. For this particular setup, we don’t drive in, but take place in already placed cars…

…That were taken in from a scrapyard in Brooklyn.

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But they don’t look too bad I mean I expected this when I saw the website beforehand when I walked up to the lot and scout around to see which car I can pick. So far, I chose a Chrysler convertible to be my car of choice.

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Taking my seat in the car, I really thought it wasn’t going to be that cold outside since I didn’t have a jacket. However, as the night came, it did. Good thing that it proved to be a good shelter just from the breeze. But all that before that happened, I did sat on the hood of the car and relax while I stare at the large slide saying “Empire Drive-In” on the screen.  I waited for the last bit of sun to come and at 7 at night I was treated to the first part of the show which is a three-volume slideshow of America’s means of reclaiming our junk from electronics to whole subway cars.

Then comes the second part which is a pre-movie live show called “Lift” a ballet dance featuring dancers moving around doing semaphore signals and dancing forklifts. However the spectacle was drowned out with the blast of the speakers going so loud you can hardly concentrate on the performance.

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More in the Gallery at the end of the article.

After that show and letting the ring out of my ears, the first film is shown and it’s basically a HBO documentary on the last truck coming out of a Ohio plant. I somber reminder of the of the economic crisis’ death-hold on our society and how it really hurts the most of us: The real hard-working American. I couldn’t keep track of time but by the time of the next feature it was already 9PM. In the intermission, I thought i sneak out of the car and check out the makeshift concession stand while the drive-in slides and animations play.

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There looks like anything you would see in a normal stand but it was built in such a quick way, illusion of it goes when you take a closer look inside. Remember when some foods used to cost less because of the pre-end of gold standard days when people earned a lot less than what we do now. Well I didn’t expect much for simple foods to cost so outrageously as they are now. Seeing the shack it looked cute and simple, with its lineup of goods ready to be hocked at for the highest price available. I would have gotten into it too if it wasn’t for the fact that it was just a cash-only stand.

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I came back to my car in time to see the second and last feature called Foreign Parts. It’s a documentary of a non-narrative perspective of the denizens who work and sometimes, even live in the auto shops at Willets Point, Queens. For years, that has sat next to the new Citi Field stadium and hearing about their stories shows a chapter in the city’s history forgotten in the wave of progress that it has tried to get out of even since.

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As I watched the movie, I struggled to keep warm inside the car that is dead as it will have to go back to the scrapyard. I looked back and seen all the people enjoying themselves, talking as they watch the movie, getting together and all that stuff. As for me, I enjoyed myself until the end of the movie and the crowd dispersed. The organizers thanked everyone for coming to the event and they closed out.

As I walked, I feel I have regretted one thing, not for going in when I had the money to enjoy the better films they had on show, not for the overpriced goods at the stand. No. the only regret…

…is that I should have fully recharged the damn camera before it stopped working on the last-minute when things were getting good. So that really ends my night at the drive in.

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Gallery @ Flickr

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On a side note, this is a really good opportunity to explain what I have in store for the blog. For starters I had a lot of articles that haven’t been published yet and for the sake of it, have far long been due or rendered irrelevant due to personal issues and serious problems. I would put a special title group for these articles I would like to call…

Stories from the Summer Backburner… Stay Tuned.

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