It is a muggy summer evening, sometime in the early 1960s, and countless
teenagers are preparing to enjoy some Saturday excitement,
boys in their sporty cars and girls dressed in their pretty sundresses; dating
couples looking forward to viewing some non-descript entertainment and consuming
some tasty snack foods, hot dogs, hamburgers, French fries and ice-cold soft
drinks are in our near future.
Do you want to guess about our favorite destination to congregate during a
sultry weekend? Here are additional clues; it was not a skating rink, or a
bowling alley; it was also not the local cafe or a putt-putt golf course; our
favorite entertainment spot was the drive-in movie but in Stewart, Webster and
Schley County, we had to drive about thirty miles to arrive at our destination.
For a small admission price you and your date could sit in the car and pretend
to be watching a usually terrible flick but the important thing was having fun;
by the way do you remember "The Creature from the Black Lagoon"? I believe that
it was the feature movie at least once a month at the drive-in movie in
We lived in a rural area so we were required to drive to Americus or Columbus to
attend a drive-in movie; because one establishment located on Victory Drive in
Columbus was off-limits to most of us girls, I am not going to say anything else
about that locale. As far as our parents knew, we only attended the drive-in
movie in Americus. As soon as we arrived at the Sunset Drive-in we rode around
and around, trying to locate the best spot.
We hoped to discover a perfect parking place; which meant a space that included
a working speaker. Most of the devices had a short life span; either it
succumbed to inclement weather conditions or to the carelessness of a teenage
driver. Many of the patrons drove off without disconnecting an amplifier, which
resulted in countless incapacitated speakers discarded in the trunk of a car.
The entrance gate always opened long before the concessions stand was ready to
serve food so we had plenty of time to hang out before the cartoon and the
feature. After standing in line to use the restroom and then placing our
complicated orders, we passed the time chatting with our friend. The fresh
popcorn was always piping hot and delivered in those cute red and white boxes.
If you waited late to purchase your food then you might meet up with the
notorious drive-in clown; remember that irritating boy who attended the movie
alone and tried his best to ruin everyone's good time. He was the same
obnoxious person who sometimes sat next to you in the lunchroom and got you in
trouble with the teacher.
I remember the playground for the little children down in front of that
humongous screen; I guess older folks enjoyed going to the drive-in too but that
is all I am going to comment about that.
Brenda S. Brown
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