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Author Topic: First Drive-in Show
Rachel Craven
Madam Moderator

Posts: 2190
From: Pensacola, FL
Registered: Dec 2000


 - posted 06-26-2005 12:29 AM      Profile for Rachel Craven   Email Rachel Craven   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Well, I went to the drive-in for the first time. It was...an experience. [Smile]

I'm sure it didn't help that I went on a friday night and they were packed! We didn't get to see the movie we wanted because they were sold out so we went to see Herbie instead (which was pretty cute!).

It's just not what I'm used to between the random headlights on the screen and break lights going on and off in front of us, it was driving me crazy! About 1/2 way through the movie some break lights went on in front of us, I said something to the staff but nothing was done. It just isn't "me" to go up to the people in the car and say something.

I guess its just not for me... we are going to give it another try though, we're planning on going this Tuesday night to try again figuring it won't be as busy. Considering I'm GM of my theater paying $17 a car load (just the two of us) seems like and awful lot (although if you have kids, its really a good deal). But, as anyone that works in a theater knows, going to your theater on a date just isn't really a date, especially if you're the GM! [Smile]

I'll let you know if my opinion changes.

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Tim Reed
Better Projection Pays

Posts: 5244
From: Northampton, PA
Registered: Sep 1999


 - posted 06-26-2005 02:19 AM      Profile for Tim Reed   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Rachel Gilardi
paying $17 a car load (just the two of us) seems like and awful lot
Sounds like you went to the Mendon. Anyway, congratulations on your first time. I didn't realize you were a "virgin." [Wink]

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Monte L Fullmer
Film God

Posts: 8353
From: Nampa, Idaho, USA
Registered: Nov 2004


 - posted 06-26-2005 02:31 AM      Profile for Monte L Fullmer   Email Monte L Fullmer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
...and this is where I started in this crazy business back in 1969. Spent a total of 8 years working at 3 "ozoners."

Now, I'm having those fun times again. For once in a while, I do a shift at a local drive-in. For I do booth (playing with an SA, FM sound, Balco platter, XENEX lamphouse with a 3k bulb) and flipping burgers.

Otherwise, doing service calls there.

..still having lots of fun.

Drive-in atmosphere is completely different than working in a hardtop theatre.

-Monte

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Barry Floyd
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1069
From: Lebanon, Tennessee, USA
Registered: Mar 2000


 - posted 06-26-2005 02:35 AM      Profile for Barry Floyd   Author's Homepage   Email Barry Floyd   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
If your ever near Nashville, Tennessee, come give us a try. We sold out both Friday and Saturday night for Herbie & longest Yard, but our week nights are pretty slim... 40-60 cars at most.

Congratulations on going to your first drive-in... hopefully it won't be your last.

Monte said it best. At my theatre, I'm the owner, the janitor, the projectionist, the burger flipper, the deep fryer guy, the parking lot attendant, the lawn mower guy, etc...

Your right Rachel... going to your own theatre on a date is NOT a date. My wife and I don't even go to any theatre on a date. She critiques the concessions, and I critique the projection.

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Ken Layton
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1452
From: Olympia, Wash. USA
Registered: Sep 1999


 - posted 06-26-2005 11:57 AM      Profile for Ken Layton   Email Ken Layton   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
When I worked at the Skyline Drive-in, I would make announcements before the show (several times!) and during intermission to the effect of "during the movie please keep foot off the brake pedal as the brake lights create a distraction to the other people behind you".

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Mike Blakesley
Film God

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From: Forsyth, Montana
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 06-26-2005 01:12 PM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
$17 a car! [Eek!] I remember when the drive-in here used to have "dollar a car night."

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Brad Miller
Administrator

Posts: 17695
From: Plano, TX (36.2 miles NW of Rockwall)
Registered: May 99


 - posted 06-26-2005 01:44 PM      Profile for Brad Miller   Author's Homepage   Email Brad Miller       Edit/Delete Post 
Check some different drive-ins Rachel. The experience can vary widely! The best one I have ever been to is the Town and Country in Abilene, TX. Ray Andress (the owner) has got the brightest images I have ever seen at a drive-in and dts sound mixed down into his FM broadcasts. I think he also has the largest screen in Texas. The Abilene clientel seems to be pretty respectful of others trying to watch the movie as well.

Sadly, most drive-ins have muddy audio and godawful picture brightness, not to mention patron courtesy towards other patrons. [Frown]

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Monte L Fullmer
Film God

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From: Nampa, Idaho, USA
Registered: Nov 2004


 - posted 06-26-2005 08:05 PM      Profile for Monte L Fullmer   Email Monte L Fullmer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
This little drive-in that I service and did the shift at (only a 300 car drive-in, and it could use a 4k bulb instead of the 3k that is in there, but the rectifier can't handle the higher wattage ...), there is pretty good courtesy involving keeping brake and headlights off, even during with the late entries, but you do find the occasional one that must be pointed out by the yardboy to get the foot off the pedal.

This place charges six bucks per person and 12 and under free...

This last weekend, they averaged 250 cars each night-it's good to see that drive-ins are far from being dead.

-Monte

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Rachel Craven
Madam Moderator

Posts: 2190
From: Pensacola, FL
Registered: Dec 2000


 - posted 06-26-2005 09:55 PM      Profile for Rachel Craven   Email Rachel Craven   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Tim Reed
Sounds like you went to the Mendon. Anyway, congratulations on your first time. I didn't realize you were a "virgin."

Nope Tim, guess again, you know where I live! [Smile]

Oh yeah, I should mention that $17 was for a double feature, we just only stayed for the first show. I wasn't in the mood to watch Mr. & Mrs. Smith again.

Actually the reason I went to the drive-in was because my DM was the old manager there. I wanted to check it out. [Smile] There aren't many drive-ins around this area which is why I had never gone. I think I'm going to be taking a ride out to Wisconsin the end of July, maybe I'll try to find some around there, I know there are a couple...

The picture on the screen actually looked suprisingly good, it was just distracting because the screen we were watching was right in front of a highway so you saw headlights moving on either side of the screen, plus the ransom headlights on the screen from the other patrons. The other 2 screens probably wouldn't be as bad because they weren't in front of a street to my knowledge.

I'm planning on trying again either tomorrow (Monday) or Tuesday night figuring they won't be as busy...and they're my nights off! Maybe it will be like a hardtop theater, I don't like going to them Friday or Saturday nights either!!! Seeing either Batman or The Longest Yard...don't pick on me, I haven't even seen Star Wars yet!!!

I have to say though, I HATE popcorn but for some reason whenever I go to a new theater I have to try theirs to see if its better then mine. This drive-in had the best popcorn and topping that I have ever had. While I wasn't impressed with the self-serve setup it was yummy...

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Brad Miller
Administrator

Posts: 17695
From: Plano, TX (36.2 miles NW of Rockwall)
Registered: May 99


 - posted 06-26-2005 10:28 PM      Profile for Brad Miller   Author's Homepage   Email Brad Miller       Edit/Delete Post 
Yup, it is not uncmomon for the independent theaters, drive-ins and small chains have superior quality concession items than the big boys. It's more hands-on. [Smile]

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Rachel Craven
Madam Moderator

Posts: 2190
From: Pensacola, FL
Registered: Dec 2000


 - posted 06-26-2005 10:38 PM      Profile for Rachel Craven   Email Rachel Craven   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I wouldn't call us independent...but we're no Loews, Showcase, or AMC. [Smile] Put it this way, the chain I work for - anyone on the north eastern coast that is involved with theaters, they probably use us... [Smile]

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Bobby Henderson
"Ask me about Trajan."

Posts: 10727
From: Lawton, OK, USA
Registered: Apr 2001


 - posted 06-26-2005 10:38 PM      Profile for Bobby Henderson   Email Bobby Henderson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
$17 a car load. Dang. When I was a little kid our family watched "Jaws" at the Crest Drive-In in Yuma, AZ at a rate of $2 per carload. And that price was good for the whole night. They usually played at least two features there per night.

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Daryl C. W. O'Shea
Film God

Posts: 3977
From: Midland Ontario Canada (where Panavision & IMAX lenses come from)
Registered: Jun 2002


 - posted 06-27-2005 12:45 AM      Profile for Daryl C. W. O'Shea   Author's Homepage   Email Daryl C. W. O'Shea   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Car load night on a Friday? Are you sure it wasn't just $8.50 a person (which is actually what we charge in CDN funds in Niagara Falls for a double feature, $9 for a triple)?

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Rachel Craven
Madam Moderator

Posts: 2190
From: Pensacola, FL
Registered: Dec 2000


 - posted 06-27-2005 01:45 AM      Profile for Rachel Craven   Email Rachel Craven   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
It said $17 per car.

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Monte L Fullmer
Film God

Posts: 8353
From: Nampa, Idaho, USA
Registered: Nov 2004


 - posted 06-27-2005 02:50 PM      Profile for Monte L Fullmer   Email Monte L Fullmer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
..sounds like they want the place to encourage families to come out on a flat rate then, in which that was the main purpose for drive-ins: to get the family out for an evening-and it works very well.

True, it kinda sucks for just two people to come out with that price, but with a carload of people, these people will hit the snakbar and spend a killing there as well - where the profits are very high to keep the drive-in in operation.

One has to remember that with drive-ins, it's like going to a restaurant with all of the delicious goodies out there outside of your mainstream snakbar items of popcorn, candy and drinks.

And this has been going on for years - like when I did that shift out at that one drive-in that I mentioned: I must have flipped 3 dozen hamburgers and 4 dozen hotdogs and at 3 to 5 bucks apiece with the hamburgers and a buck and a half with the hotdog (chorizos were three bucks), I knew that there is a killing in the concession drawers-plus with all the other junk that people bought out there.

-Monte

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