Rushville Republican

Columns

July 23, 2013

Drive-in movies were very popular

The other day a friend brought up the fun we used to have going to the local drive-in movie. There was a lot available locally, one south of Milroy affectionately called the Cow Pasture, which during the daylight hours it was. Cattle were allowed to browse around the parking area during the day and chased out at night. One thing I learned early on was pay attention to where you walked when going to the rest room or concession stand. Connersville had a drive-in, as did Shelbyville, which had two; another was at 9 and 52 and it was a biggie and well attended by Rush County citizens. New Castle had one.

When I was a lot younger it almost became a game to try and outsmart the movie employees. We would put people in the trunk to keep from paying for them to get in. Some would try to come in the out lane for the same reason. Drive-in management figured that one out rapidly and put in metal tire shredders that would allow the cars to go out but tear up the tires of those attempting to come in. A lot of teens went to the drive-in but not necessarily to watch the movie. Making out in the back lanes of the movies was about as popular as most of the movies that were shown.

The movie would have a large concession rest room building in the middle of the area of the drive-in. The projection booth was also in this building so there would be only a ticket stand and concession stand beside the screen itself. The talking aspect came from a speaker one would place in the window of your car. There was a volume control which one could turn the volume up or down. Later on, there were some that even had heaters you could use to keep your car warm when it got colder. The heaters were on the stands with the speakers and managed to elongate the time the movie could be open. Although I went to several movies and needed to use the heaters, at least for me they were less than realistic.

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