Do you remember the first time you went to the drive-in theater? Back in the ’70s in our area of New England we probably had 6 or 8 of them that were close enough to get to on a Friday night. Today I think there are only 4 or 5 in all of New England.
The first time I went was in 1969. It was called The Merrimack Park Drive-In in Methuen, MA. My best friend’s mom took me and my mother to see a double bill: True Grit with John Wayne and The Odd Couple with Jack Lemon and Walter Matthau. We loaded into the Country Squire wagon and had a great old time.
When I got older my friends and I would go to the drive-in almost every weekend. It was always a good time. To save money a few of us would pile in the trunk of Dan’s car and sneak in. I swear that some nights Dan would drive in seemingly all alone. But they took the fun out of that when they starting to charge by the carload.
My sons have never been to the drive-in and I suppose, if I don’t bring them soon, they may never get a chance as drive-ins are disappearing fast. Admittedly, it’s not the best way to see a movie – bad sound, mosquitos, too hot, too cold – but it is something that should be experienced before they are all gone. Plus if you go, you get to hear those famous words interrupting the movie:
“The concession stand is closing in five minutes.”
After first posting this entry, a friend sent these pictures along. They are photos of the E.M. Loew’s Merrimack Park Drive In right after it closed in 1985.
Do you have drive-in memories and/or pictures? We’d love to hear your story!