Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Stranded at the Drive-In

I've always heard stories from my parents about the drive-in movie theater. I think we've all enjoyed a scene in an old movie with teenagers parking their cars and enjoying a movie with the hook on speakers that sit on your window. Finally I got to experience it for myself. 

There is a drive-in theater in Coldwater, just over an hour from Jackson. My aunt, uncle, and two cousins told me about their plan to go there. I immediately invited myself, which I'm so good at doing. I met them in Concord where they live and we continued the journey to the Capri Drive-In.  We would be seeing a double feature Ice Age 4 and Brave. Tuesday night is carload night. We paid $20 for the full car load of six people. 

 The second we drove in I knew this was going to be a good time. Lots of families already had their set ups. They had pulled their vans into the spots with the back facing the screen. With the back doors open above their heads they created their own territory with chairs, food, and drinks, getting ready to settle in for the hours of entertainment to come.  

 We did the same and with the vans back door above our heads we created a surround sound system that would rival indoor movie theaters. The sound from the movie was broadcast through 88.7 FM. Quickly I could tell why drive-in movie theaters were such a popular place for teens to go. The whole thing felt so much more social than an indoor movie theater. So much more space to move around and enjoy. You aren't confined to your one seat. No one shushing you from behind if you voice gets too loud.
The Capri has been open since 1964 when the price for a single ticket was $1. In 2012 we see a 700% increase with the price of $8 for a single ticket. But it's good to see that something so traditional is holding on in a changing world. The 50s -70s were the glory days for drive-ins, with Michigan having 110 of them in 1958, according to Capri Drive-In history. I found out from a concession worker that the theater is very close to making the change from film movies to digital, another thing that will move the venue into modern times while still sticking with the nostalgia of the past. 

Take a look at their website capridrive-in.com.