Return of the Drive-In

drive alerted its subscribers today to MobMov, short for Mobile Movie. From its website:

What is the Mobile Movie?
We are a grassroots movement aimed at bringing back the forgotten joy of the great American drive-in. Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, what used to be a dark and decrepit warehouse wall springs to life with the sublime sights and sounds of a big screen movie. Best of all, the MobMov is free.


Our goal in creating the MobMov was to create a true "drive-in" experience by enclosing the projector and an FM transmitter inside a car. Participants drive in to a parking lot, tune their radios, and watch their favorite flick from the comfort of their car. As far as we know, we're the first ones to attempt this on a public scale. We didn't create the term "Guerilla Drive-in", but we're the first to use it correctly.

This new approach is better for a variety of reasons. Drive-ins were popular originally because it was like having your own private cineplex – if you wanted privacy, you'd just roll up your windows. If you wanted to be part of a community, you'd roll them down, open your doors, maybe even walk around. Secondly, while a traditional GDI only operates in the summer, you can stay in your car with the heater running while participating in a mobmov. That's rain or shine folks and folketts.

Like everyone my age, I am blessed with several great drive-in movie memories. The first few movies I saw were in drive-ins: One Hundred and One Dalmations, which was appropriate for kids, and Hud, which most certainly was not. I recall scenes from both of these movies vividly–Cruella DeVille's green cigarette smoke and horrible fur lust; Patricia Neal driving up to Paul Newman in a convertible, with a strange knowing look in her eyes.

daliahlavi.JPGA few years later, an attractive teenage babysitter took us to the drive-in see the James Bond spoof Casino Royale, with its bevy of 1960s beauties like Ursula Andress and Daliah Lavi, and, well, I still really haven't recovered. The drive-in is such an iconic experience, countless great movie scenes have been set at one — for example American Graffitti and Rebel Without A Cause. Just the other night, I saw a drive-in destroyed in Twister.

The MobMov has a sign-up area that indicates there are showing from Huntsville, Alabama to Winnepeg, Manitoba, but the copy on the site only references showings in Berkeley.


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