I love the concept of drive-in theaters. I prefer the comfort of a normal theater but the drive-in is an experience not to be missed. I have several good memories of going to the drive-in in Miami. I made sure to take both of my girls (well three if you count my delicate flower of a wife) to the drive-in while we lived in Waynesville, NC. Sadly the Waynesville Drive-In, as with most drive-ins, has since closed.
There are only about 300 operating drive-ins left in the United States. As with small local theaters, the greatest current danger to them is the conversion to digital film. Many new films are being released only on digital prints and even those that have 35mm releases are becoming increasingly rare and expensive. Wikipedia lists digital conversion ‘beginning at $70,000 per screen’ and drive-in theaters just don’t have that kind of money.
Go to a drive-in movie while you still can and take your children so that they will have something to remember. I’m just waiting for my granddaughter to be old enough to remember to go again (say when she turns five).
The Sunset Drive-In, in Shelby, NC, is still open and runs double features every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. This past weekend they ran Fast & The Furious 6 and After Earth. Admission is just $10 a carload. Gates open at 7 p.m. and features start around 9.
The Bessemer City / Kings Mountain Drive-In Theater is still open as well. They usually run the same films as Sunset. Prices and times are likewise the same.