It’s no secret that I love movies. Anyone who knows me, anyone who reads this blog knows this to be a well-established fact. However, there was one piece missing from my movie-going resume that was a glaring omission.
I had never been to a drive-in.
When we moved here to Pennsylvania, I soon learned that there was, in fact, an old drive-in theater in the area. Haar’s. I was excited because I knew that soon, very soon, this missing star in my movie sky would light up brightly.
But, alas, such was not to be the case. Whenever we made plans to make the trek to the drive-in something went wrong. Once, we actually paid our way and made it onto the grounds, only to find that we had come a wee bit late and that the only spots left were behind vehicles whose stature was of entirely unreasonable dimensions. And while hearing a movie at the drive-in is appealing, staring at the tailgate of a vehicle better suited to troop transport instead of the movie was much less so. We left irritated and disappointed.
And, thus, I remained unfulfilled in my chasing of the drive-in experience. That is until this weekend came around and the planets aligned.
My wife had tasked me with finding something to do for the weekend. It was a rare weekend when we had nothing scheduled, and the typical activities just didn’t appeal very much. We were in a bit of a rut, and desperately needed to get out somehow. I browsed the web searching for interesting bands at local clubs or special exhibitions or interesting movies when it hit me.
Quickly, I jumped to their page. My hopes refused to be raised. “Don’t get excited,” they said, “they’ll be playing something you’ve seen or are just plain uninterested in.” I gave them a scowl, after all hopes are supposed to help you not sit there complaining like bitter old women.
Then I beheld the aligning of the fates. Two films playing, neither of them were ones we had previously seen, both were MovieDruid Picks of the Week: “Toy Story 3” and “Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time.” I sat and stared for several minutes in wonder at the perfection of these two films for drive-in viewing. Now, finally, was my time.
And, thus, on Saturday night we grabbed a cheap boombox at Wal-Mart and headed for the drive-in. We sat and chatted in the heat of the fading day as the sun slowly set, and as dusk set in we grabbed popcorn and ice cream sandwiches from the snack bar. As we ate the final light faded, we turned up the boombox as the hopping lam crossed the screen on the Pixar logo and the magic began.
It was a wholly enjoyable experience. One I will always treasure because it was, as I have expressed before, one I shared with my soulmate and wife. Even the heat and humidity seemed to hardly be there as I lost myself in the films. It was, in short, a wonderful night.
Sometimes the simplest of things can be important memories. Those two films will always remind me of that first night at the drive-in that I shared with my wife. The memory will always make me smile, and who can ask or anything more than that.