When was last time you went to a drive-in movie? I bet most millennials don’t even know that this quaint summer pastime used to be one of the most debauched date nights of choice.
Drive-in theatres are back with a vengeance, a new offshoot of the inflatable screen, outdoor movie trend. It’s not quite the same when you’ve got friends with teens in tow. But it’s good fun for a weekday night.
We arrived two hours early to save our parking spots in the second row then walked over to Old Buddies Seafood Restaurant (excellent Cantonese, btw). When we returned at dusk, the parking lot was swarming with tiny flying ants. Luckily, the pesky little critters didn’t bite and disappeared when the sun went down.
A note on starting times: The schedule says 9:30 p.m., but it was closer to 10 p.m. by the time it got going. You can’t see a thing on the screen until it gets dark, so check the daily sunset calendar for a more accurate start time.
We pulled our folding chairs and blankets from the trunk and set up a little picnic area in front of the cars. Some people spread blankets on top of their vans. The soundtrack is streamed through your car radio, but there were enough speakers near the front (for the car-less seating area) to hear without having to turn on the radio.
The snack bar was kind of bare – stale popcorn, chocolate bars and flannel blankets ($20). Fresh Slice apparently delivers pizza to your car if you call in an order, though I’m not sure how they find you in the crowd, since the parking stalls aren’t numbered.
“We’re going to do this once,” the host barked over the sound speaker. “Let’s get it out of our systems. Everyone give a big honk to Lansdowne Centre!”
The crowd went wild.
The feature film, Clueless, is even funnier now than it was 20 years ago. “She’s your sister, dude!” my shocked friend cried out at the end. “I didn’t know this was movie about incest.”
These are family events so alcoholic beverages are verboten. But if you’re discreet and use plastic cups, the security guards won’t likely hassle you.
Just be careful when the movie ends and pack up quickly. Our chairs were almost sideswiped by cars zooming out. Other than that, it was a great night. Bonus, no hickies to hide. Some things do get better with age.
More Outdoor Movies in Metro Vancouver
The Italian Cultural Centre presents Italian movies in Beaconsfield Park – July 10, August 7
Evo presents Summer Cinema Tuesdays in Stanley Park – Every Tuesday until August 25
Harmony Arts Festival in John Lawson Park – July 31 to August 8
Waterfront Cinema at Canada Place – Every Thursday until August 24
Wesgroup presents the River District Drive-In – July 12, 26, August 30, September 6
What’s your favourite drive-in movie memory? Let Vv Magazine know in the comments below, or tweet us @ViewtheVibe.