Saturday, December 26, 2009

It's Almost Twilight...Meet Me Neath The Stars?


Will you indulge me, momentarily... to use sleight of hand, wicked bad convolution and imagery to introduce, co-mingle and interweave the popular Drive-In Theaters of yesteryear together with the concept of good family entertainment and old-fashioned parenting? (Keep in mind, Gentle Readers, that parallels are intended to be drawn, right here, from yesterdays' 1930-40s for use today. Wink!)

Imagery begins now:  Imagine (or recall) your typical Saturday evening all American living room of the 1940's. Floral chair, overstuffed couch, drapes, doilies, Life Magazine, four children's bored silly and kinda down in the blue faces?   MEET four older wiser eyes of unsuspecting, weary fed up to there, caught in the glare of headlights all American parents.....picture developed yet?

Yes, the unsuspecting Brown parents didn't know then..., but the Brown children (their very own children, no less) were about to relentlessly upset hierarchical family dynamics and pursue its Board Of Directors (their very own parents, again no less), to approve a momentary request of $0.02 per mile as part of an entertainment bid to cover their increasing need for thrills a minute!

Go on now, for you grow inquisitive?

However, it had been a known and established fact to the Brown children, the Board Of Directors (Brown parents) had firmly expressed that the $ .15 initial fee for hiring a babysitter for the howling youngest Brown child or bringing in consultant (aka grandma) for purposes of entertainment, would not change in near foreseeable future. Further, price of a baby sitter at that wage was unacceptable, and particularly more the pity, if the cost of sitter would rise to $.20 in following consecutive days, months and years!  The dwindling alternative for babysitting by grandma, was quickly becoming history as she was gaining notoriety among townsfolk for sleeping far too often and too soon after reporting for babysitting duty on the frontlines.

These facts, not unlike today, in combination with a myriad of other problematic issues, known as insurmountable heretofore, resulted in "the Board" not taking into consideration further additional measures or alternatives for entertainment other than those already in existence.   Looked bleak for Brown children, then.

Ahhh, but there was the rub Brown parents and Brown children (thank you Shakespeare) their pending ever increasing desperate approach, the Brown children had developed another new strategy and campaign as a way and means to weaken, integrate, attract and direct "the Board" to any and all parallels in entertainment ! (How was it then, as today, that children learn bribery and manipulation in a minute and parents take a lifetime to ferret out and master?...Othello-esque homage thrown in for dash there!)   Scratch, oops, trouble in all American 1940s' Family Land?!  NOT!!!!!  Read aloud for booming tunnel effect, the following:  Brown Children?  The Brown parents, had at long last found the wise affordable family entertainment... the DRIVE-IN THEATERS!  So, there, reap ye no more havoc!

Gentle Readers,...Pray,...Be sure, very sure that you or any parent remain alert, wary and oriented times three as the Brown parents had in the 1940s faced against their children's loaded arsenal of weapons and bribery!  Thankfully, they had the Drive-In Theatre to call upon for good family entertainment.  Whatever the strategy children of any generation manage to manoeuver, be sure it ultimately leads to, resultant from and rings of  sound parental wisdomHave you bitten yet, bang on ...where we're headed here?

Sleight of hand begins here...

We're still headed, steam on, into a shameless ploy to draw you to a remaining Drive-In Theatre with the family or make a practice to engage in family oriented entertainment...1940s style! 

Unless you've been living under a rock or hadn't watched the video above, you'll surely know that the concept of Drive-In movies was good family entertainment!  Therefore, find a Drive-In niche today and plan a summer vacation ....CATCH SOME NOSTALGIA!  And what luck and rare stroke of fortune for my gentle readers...there are still a few Drive-In Theatres left in America to call upon yet today as the Brown parents had of yesterday!

The Drive-In Theatres, rare but still nestled here and there... for a while yet,  are simply re-worded, a place neath the stars, amongst the crickets and wild blue to twilight yonder, where anyone could (and still may) go for an all American evening of easy entertainment and an unprecedented family fine time without having to leave the privacy of the family automobile!

Navigate right on in to the Drive-In Theater, lights dimmed and crawling slow on all four General Tire rubber wheels, choose your most precipitous angle for optimum viewing, park the auto, shut off the engine,  hook the magic speaker onto the automobile window, and voila, prepare yourselves for good viewing, easy listening and let the movies and frivolity begin!  What's more? The whole family, the family dogs, cats, hamsters, chickens, and grandma and grandpa could join you at the Drive-In, too! And all of this at a reasonable cost! That's right... one charge for the family truckster or family sedan and no individual head charge?! Mother!

Special value dollar night admission and a concession stand at the Drive-In? Oh, but the mouth ignominiously watered at not only the food promised at intermission but those enthralling, luring intermission interludes!  Buttered popcorn, hot dogs, coffee, fries, donuts, candy, figs and figments...a veritable feast ...mother, dare I go on?   And, if eating we're not on the agenda:  Miniature golfing, beachside antics, lounging on lawn chairs, and dioramas at the Drive-in? A flea market? Fleas weren't your interest? Revivals? Music? All this and,...let's not cast aside the main event that drew movie goers...hypnotic (ho there!) family movies unfolding before every ones' eyes focused, honed and peering through sporadically illuminated firefly dotted windshields?

Say what, there's more?! Relaxing and enjoying the "movie-reel flick" in the appropriate apparel department was and is still NOT altogether an issue either?! That's right again! Hubba! Hubba! Whether slicked up or decked out in next to nil 'neath a raincoat (wink, again) or the children donned in their pink Doctor D. Pajamas, and, say...why not,let's maybe... dare we....just for fun, mind you, GO ON THEN... throw into the mix....crazy Aunt Alice, sporting her barbecue flipper and gloves! It was allllll good and still can be at the drive-in!

Wicked Bad Convolution Here:  Oh one more thing?  Why else were the Drive In Theaters so wildly popular? A Huggin and A Kissin...what more do I be missin?  (I could be talking GI Joes and GI Janes, but there is Grandma and Grandpa to consider too, by Jingo)!  I'm not going to further explore this potential romantic aspect just lieu, mind you, of practicing delicate behavior for purely serious gravity and effect today.  OH, BUT I COULD...genteel shock and awe,...we've time to delve and dwell there later...I assure you....hmmm...anyway, we'll make haste and move ye to trundle onward, Gentle Readers.

Sigh!  How did we miss it? How did we miss the advent and heyday of the Drive In Theatre Show? Simply, some of us came along a bit too late in life and history! Drive-In Theatres were created from the ideals, visions, experimentations, investment of $30,000,  and a patent on May 16, 1933 courtesy of Richard M. Hollingshead, Junior.   As a result of Mr. Hollingsheads' efforts, Americans' enjoyed the first Drive-In show June 6, 1933 in Camden, NJ.  Mr. Hollingshead wisely advertised his first drive-in theater with the slogan, "The whole family is welcome, regardless of how noisy the children are". TRUE THAT says, Jolene. I'd say he had a good idea and finger on the pulse of American families then!   The admission price was 25 cents for the car and 25 cents per person.  Oh how I wish the Drive-In was one nova that had not already flared and nearly burnt itself out today. Whimper, sobs, sigh.

In summary...

Take the family to the Drive-In Movies or good family entertainment,  Gentle Readers!

And, if  I have indeed drawn parallels to your 21rst century universe in any applicable way, captivated the imagination, plied you with non-compulsory, exciting, interesting and invigorating knowledge, provided panacea to the ever present family dilemma, just give me one big teary thank you after another. And, allow the accolades to roar on and reign down upon my head!

So, whilst ye may...from the baby to the mid-life and beyond identity crises...indulge a bit... if you have the "running out of time" chance...from Starlite to Star Vue, cruise on in to one of the last remaining American drive-ins... "with the family for good family entertainment"?

Twilight any fine summers' day, family...hale and hearty?!  Meet Me There Neath the Stars at the Drive-In Theatre?

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