My friends and I used to love the drive-in. There were several necessary items for a truly great night there:
An old fashioned beach chair, the kind with really creaky joints that looked like squashed foil.
A newspaper, for finding the very worst horror movies showing,
My girlfriend's VW beetle
The newspaper (it was always the Daily Local News) came first. We looked for real dreck to watch, and the 70's served up plenty of it. We're talking shows like "Humongous," "Swamp Thing, and "Killdozer."
Now that I think about it, Swamp Thing was a bit too classy for our tastes. We needed stuff that was so bad it was good, that we could provide alternate lines for during the show, with really really really cheesy effects.
We paid, parked up on the hill, and dragged out the fraying lawn chairs. The movie would start, and we yukked it up to our heart's content, laughing and being loud with no fear of annoying "serious moviegoers."
As the night grew chilly, we'd pull out the old blankets and huddle under them.
At that point, one movie would end, and we experienced the very best part of going to drive ins:
REALLY BAD COMMERCIALS FOR THE DRIVE IN SNACK BAR
Yes, complete with purplish cinematic tones, dudes in polyester slacks chowing down on hot dogs and tacos, and unlikely looking tykes with missing teeth and corkscrew curls receiving drinks with a heckuva lot of ice. Plus, sometimes there was a song to go with it all that glory! Heaven!
The second movie would start, the classier one. We would chat and get all teen angsty and stuff and say how philosophical Swamp Thing was and how it was a metaphor for Man's Inability to Get Along With Nature or some such.
At that point, my sister usually fell asleep.
The crickets chirpped, the mosquitos bit in droves, and the honeysuckle hung on the air. We laughed and folded up the chairs, stuffed them in the back of the VW, roused my sister, and we all drove to Denny's.
Is there anything better than that? There are still drive ins around, I hear, and you can pack the family in and plan a trip to see one in a few last holdouts.
Bet they won't be able to see Killdozer, though.