Monday, October 17, 2011

The Sunset Drive In

The first, and only, drive-in movie I saw was Mary Poppins.
I was little.  Maybe 5?
But I remember it well--the speakers, munching the popcorn my mom brought in a big paper bag, cuddling under the blankets, the thrill of watching those silly penguins on the big screen. (you know the penguins are the best scene in that movie)
It was so much fun.

We went to the drive-in in Oceanside.
Some of you fellow Fallbrook or North County readers might have gone there too.
The screens are still there.
So is the parking lot.
Except now it is home to a swap meet every weekend.
It bums me out every time I drive past it on my way home for a Fallbrook visit.
Why did the drive-ins die?

We see this old drive-in sign every time we drive up the 101on our yearly Central Coast vacation.

It is just south of San Louis Obisbo.
We never remember it until we are sailing past and then we say, "Oh!  The drive-in sign!  Let's get it on the way home."
And we never do.
No longer, my friends.
This time, when we were sailing past on our way back home, Aaron said, "don't you want to stop and get a picture of the drive-in sign?"
I did.  Terribly.
But there were 2 kids asleep and I didn't want to wake them, and I didn't want to ruin the momentum we had by stopping just for some pictures of a sign.
But my man is sweet and he pulled off, backtracked and explored until he found the sign.
I love that man.

But the coolest thing was when we pulled forward to get the sign from another angle and saw this:

And we peeked in and saw this:

And then I saw this:

And I kind of squealed and said, "this is SO cool."
And I might have kissed Aaron to thank him for stopping.
Or I might have just kept on taking photos.
But if I did that, he would understand.
Because he was the one who helped me fall in love with old signs in the first place.
(do you think I am a total dork, or are you with me on this?)

Isn't it a great sign?
I dream of owning an old sign like this someday.
To hang up somewhere--inside, outside--anywhere would look good.

AND, this drive-in theater is still operational.
How cool is that?

I have been wanting to take the kids to a drive-in movie for ages.
Who knows, maybe one year there will be a movie we'll actually take the kids to see, during the one week a year we're on the Central Coast.
It could happen.
I'm an optimist.
If you're headed that way, check out their Facebook page for what's playing now.
I'm glad not all the drive-ins are dead.
What do you remember about the drive-ins?

I have so many fun things to blog about from our trip.
But the posts may be sparse again this week.
My baby brother is getting married this weekend!
And 3 of my kiddos are in the wedding.
I have a lot to get ready.
The past month has been a blur of activity.
Good stuff, all of it.
But it will be nice to settle down to a regular schedule.
And to have time to blog regularly, too.
In the meantime, check back for posts about our favorite Central Coast drives, eats and the 2 awesome, vintage treasures I found.
Love from,


Pam... said...

We have an operational drive in still! The one I went to as a kid with all the neighbor kids packed like sardines in their van to get the deal price.
We also still have DogNSuds drive up. Where they used to roller skate but now usually walk up to your window with a tray of food including old fashioned mug root beer in frosty glasses! Expensive, but fun.
Thanks for sharing your sign love!

Katie @ minivan diva said...

Kev and I are suckers for signs too. : ) Great photos!

Sue Hagen said...

Good ol' Oceanside. I wish someone with tons of money would buy the drive-in and fix it up (I'm an optimist, too!). We saw ET there, and the trip I remember best - mom and I saw Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, just the two of us. I love that there are still operating drive-ins - I need to find one around here and take my kids. I can't imagine them growing up, never seeing a drive-in movie....

Unknown said...

Oh this post is awesome and brought back some lovely memories for me. We use to go almost every friday night to the outdoor drive-in. Mom would pop the popcorn and we would all pile in the station wagon and off we would go. Aw, love it!
And for the record, I love OLD signs too. Cannot get enough of them!

annettethebrunette said...

I used to go to the La Mirada drive-in as a kid! :) FYI, there are 2 operational drive-ins in San Diego County. One in Santee and one WAY down by the border in National City.

mygirl said...

i went to the drive-in once. it was with both of my parents, i was probably 3 or 4 and we saw cinderella. my parents had a car where the backseat folded down, so my parents made it like a bed for us. it was fun. i wish they were still around because i think jeff's car would be the ultimate drive-in theatre car :)

Unknown said...

those signs are awesome! we have a drive in in the twin cities...went a few years ago... would be hard to do with young kids though, the 1st one doesn't start til 9

Anonymous said...

I miss this place!! I went there all the time when I was younger to the swap meets and also movies...great memories.

PaisleyJade said...

Oh wow!! I would so love to experience a drive in movie. It's such a shame that things like that are hardly around here in New Zealand!!