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Tiki Central Forums » » Beyond Tiki » » Drive-Ins Make A Comeback
Drive-Ins Make A Comeback
Tiki Centralite

Joined: May 22, 2003
Posts: 11
From: Houston, TX/Orange County, CA
Posted: 2006-04-09 09:34 am   Permalink

This was on CBS Sunday Morning today. The drive-in they featured is not very far from Houston, where I live. Really nice to see.

Drive-Ins Make A Comeback

April 9, 2006(CBS) Drive-in theaters, those beloved pop culture icons of yesteryear were nearly extinct, but are now making something of a comeback.

Last weekend workers scrambled to ready the new Showboat Drive-In Theater in Hockley, Texas for the grand opening.

The theater is a family affair, co-owned by brothers Chris and John Rumfolo.

"We're the whole crew," John says.

But isn't opening a drive-in theater in this day and age sort of like opening a Typewriters R Us? asks CBS Sunday Morning contributor Bill Geist.

"We're nostalgic. Our whole country is nostalgic," John says, adding that when he applied for a loan, the bank though "I was nuts."

Now that they'd built it, would people come? They did -- in droves. They had to turn cars away.

For those that got inside, they hit the snack bar hard. You can't get big burgers at indoor theaters, not to mention dill pickles and chili cheese fries.

Children played on the grass in front of the big screen just like the old days. It's a good place to bring the kids.

The young come for the adventure. They seem to like that you can talk during the movie.

The older folks simply come to remember.

One big improvement is drive-ins show first-run movies now, rather than the last-run variety. And today's popular pick up trucks and big SUVs easily convert to rolling family rooms or bedrooms.

At their peak in the 50s there were more than 4,000 drive-in theaters in America, 388 in Texas, but that 388 dwindled to 11 in the year 2000, but is now back up to 21.

Now Texas is the epicenter of the drive-in boom. The Showboat in Hockley is just the latest.

Business is booming at the old Texas drive-ins, too, like the Brazos, open since 1952.

No one predicted this resurgence.

Drive-ins were almost as close to extinction as the wooly mammoths in tonight's movie, "Ice Age: The Meltdown."

Eating snacks, sitting together as a family or with your partner wrapped in blankets on a slightly cool spring evening under a crescent moon afloat on the starry Texas sky, it is easy to see why drive-ins are making a comeback. The better question seemed to be: how could this have ever gone out of style?

I'm looking forward to checking it out. They showed the line of cars to get into this place on TV. Looked like a modern day version of drive-in openings from the 1950s. It was great!

Movies I Own On DVD|School of Soul

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Unkle John
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 22, 2003
Posts: 1217
From: Middle-of-the-Ocean, TX
Posted: 2006-04-09 3:08 pm   Permalink

Hey there,

There is a drive in uptowards Dallas, just outside of Ennis on I-45 called the Galaxy Drive-in.
They where building it when I moved out here to Lubbock. Infact they just opened a new drive-in here in Lubbock (I guess to compliment all of the classic car collectors out here).

This website has an up-to-date site and serchable database: www.drive-ins.com

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Joined: May 17, 2006
Posts: 1
From: India
Posted: 2006-05-17 02:13 am   Permalink

hello ,

i am from new delhi , india . we have a drive-in in mumbai , but not a
single one in new delhi .

to search for a drive-in in my city of which i might not be knowing , i
spent some time in surfing over the net for a drive-in in my city .

although , i did not find any drive-ins's located in new delhi . but i
sure did find a new approach for drive-ins's about which i read at
www.mobmov.org .

they are already present in the usa , canada and australia . other
upcoming venues are in germany , brazil , indonesia and other places .

i have written to them showing my desire for starting a delhi chapter
and they have response was very encouraging .

the best part about them is they are free and they inform us about the
shows held every fortnight .

hope you all enjoy the experince , as i am waiting to start my own
drive-in chapter .

happy mobbing .


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Tipsy McStagger
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 21, 2004
Posts: 3524
From: HELL
Posted: 2006-05-17 05:17 am   Permalink

....good news!!! ..but unfortunately, one drive-in opening does not constitute a "come-back" for drive ins....for the past 15 years, people, especially in the media, have been saying that drive-ins were coming back but the truth is, we have been losing them faster every year.....not many left and the few still with us around the country are managing to barely hold on. the chicago area has only one left, and it's on it's last reel.......not to rain on the parade, as i love drive-ins, but history has shown that all this talk about come-backs is little more than a media tease......but like I said, good news for you folks in texas, none-the-less......

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Grand Member (7 years)  

Joined: Mar 30, 2008
Posts: 7362
From: The Anvil of the Sun
Posted: 2013-04-29 4:49 pm   Permalink

After almost 70 years, it’s lights out for the Motor Vu Twin Drive-In Theater of Imperial, CA

Opened in the 40s, it was one of the oldest remaining drive-ins in California. At last count there are only 17 left in the Golden State. Unfortunately, it just didn’t generate enough revenue to justify the $250,000 upgrade from 35 mm film to digital and 35 mm is being phased out.

We didn’t go to many movies as a kid but the first movie I remember seeing there was Disney’s “Follow Me Boys” in 1966 (I was 8 ), running around the playground under the screen and watching the movie. Saw “Jaws” there, the line of cars to get in was at least a mile long. At one point they went to X-Rated movies ~ I never did get how that was allowed when both screens were easily visible from the highway. I worked there as an assistant manager while I was in college, got my first exposure to martial arts (escrima) there ~ training for “crowd control”. We used to go out on the lot during the movies to kick out the drunk rednecks and chollos, then again after the movies to roust the sleepers and the van-rocking lovers with their steamed up windows. My wife and I would go there when we were dating, set up a hibachi next to the car and grill carne asada for burritos. Met my first white German Shepherd there. With a docked tail and black circles around his eyes, Thor was rather funny looking. But he wanted to kill anyone he did not know and somehow a 70 pound dog snapping, snarling, and lunging at the end of his leash doesn’t look so comical. He made a great security dog, but in the end had bitten too many people (including my little brother in his prom tuxedo) and retired to a farm. Speaking of security, one night I found myself on the ground at the wrong end of a Sheriff’s service revolver because I unknowingly set off the alarm while working late by myself. I remember there was a dark scene several minutes long in “Apocalypse Now” that had an off-frame splice in it. Because there was nothing but several yards of black film, it took us several times to get that spliced right. The picture would return after the dark scene and people would all start honking because the film was out of frame. Made far more cardboard-crusted pepperoni pizzas than I care to admit and squirted many gallons of Odell’s Butter Oil on mountains of popcorn.

So many great memories. But I guess I’m partially to blame, I haven’t seen in movie there in at least 10 years

When you hurry through life, you just get to the end faster.
Pirate Ship Tree House

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