Wednesday, June 6, 2012

♫Stranded at the #drive-in...branded a fool..." A #family fun first...

Franklin Drive-In Theatre in Franklin, Kentucky
(image linked to their website)

This past Saturday night my husband and I did something together we've never done. It was actually really special and different. Of course, I'd never done it before at all with anyone, but he had a lot of times in his life. I mean, he did it with his parents and his friends, and now we've shared the experience with our kids.

We took the kids to see movies at the drive-in. 

(Yeah, I can't get "Sandy" or John Travolta's falsetto whining out of my head now either, much as I love Grease)

My parents first date was at the Twin Hills Drive-In in Harrodsburg, KY in the 1970s. My mom said she didn't eat before they left, so while my dad tried to smoke a pipe to impress her, she snuck off to the concession stand and wolfed down a burger to quiet her rumbling stomach. But, in all the time I was growing up we never went to the drive-in, which was closed in the mid-80s. Truth is, we never went to the movies when I was growing up.

The first movie I ever saw in a theater was on my first date when I was 18 or 19 years old- We went to see "I Love Trouble" with Julia Roberts and Nick Nolte. It was the longest, most horrible movie I'd ever seen and it could have tainted my view of going to the theater altogether except that my date and I got the biggest kick out of laughing about how horrible it was and how it was the longest 2 hours of our lives.

My next experience was better- "Billy Madison" with my friend and her boyfriend. That movie went over much better and after that, going to the movies became more commonplace for me. I went with friends or on dates. And then there was the time period after having my daughter that we didn't go to the movies much at all. Taking little kids to the theater just does not happen. Now that my stepson is 13 and our daughter is 9, we go a little more often, but not a lot because we have to weigh the cost of the tickets and concessions against what's in the bank and what bills need to be paid. Indoor theaters are not cheap.

BUT- this past weekend when we realized we'd have both kids (stepson stayed the weekend with us instead of going to his mom's) we tried to come up with something that we could all do together. At first, we thought about going to the zoo. Nashville's not that far, nor is Louisville, but the idea of walking all day long was a bit daunting, especially if it were hot. And then the idea of whether there were any old-fashioned drive-ins still around these parts came up.

We did some online searches and there was one in Tennessee we were looking at but then we discovered there was one open a county over from us and they only charge $15 a carload. Not too shabby and the movies playing were suitable- The Pirates: Band of Misfits and Men in Black 3, which hubby and I'd been wanting to see.
 We got there just before the gates opened around 6:30 and soon they began allowing the cars through, so we found a good spot and headed to the concessions to get supper. My stepson said their chicken poppers were great and their tator tots. Hubby, daughter and I got cheeseburgers- the good kind like you get at the fair- the kind  you just can't get anywhere else. Daughter's fries were great as were the spicy wedges hubby and I got. We ate in the car and relaxed until it got dark.

The family next to us had teenaged daughters, so they blew bubbles to pass the time. The only thing that might have been better was if we'd brought some folding chairs to sit in outside the car, but it was a cool evening, so sitting in our car worked all right, other than my daughter not being able to see while my seat was in the upright position and she overdid it eating Junior Mints and cotton candy during the movie and felt a little sick on the ride home around midnight.

At intermission, my husband went to the concession stand and got himself a couple slices of Domino's pizza and got me a warm powdered sugar plate of heavenly goodness I call a funnel cake. YU-U-U-MMY! Overall, it was a great family outing, and also a first for myself and both the kids, so it's an experience we can always say we shared together as a first and hopefully it won't be our last time. The movies were good. The Pirate movie was okay, in my opinion but I was way more interested in seeing if the MIB 3 movie would be better than it's predecessor (the 2nd one) as I loved the first one, but wasn't that impressed with the story in the 2nd one and I personally found the 3rd one to be laugh out loud funny, it was nice to see those characters again and I have to give props to Josh Brolin for his Tommy Lee Jones impersonation and it also had a very heart-warming part that made me love Agents J & K even more. I truly enjoyed it and I can't wait until we can go again!

 Please don't forget that I'm also visiting at
this week and would love it if you stopped by to chat or say hi!


Missy Frye said...

I grew up going to the drive-in both with family and later with friends. I have fond memories of those times, as well as a few that I'd rather forget.

Great post!

Taryn Raye said...

Thanks for stopping by Missy! I hope we'll get to do this more often, with the kids and just me and hubby. It'd be a nice "date" night sort of thing we could do when money's tight and the kids are with the grandparents.

Janie Emaus said...

I didn't even know they still had drive-ins. I loved them.

Taryn Raye said...

Janie- I think it's just a matter of hunting them up closest to your area. We actually have a couple here that aren't too far and the one my parents went to has been back up and running for a couple of years now. One of these times I'm up visiting them, I'm going to have to check it out. :)

JM said...

Great post Taryn.
When I was a little, little kid, I remember going to see Popeye (with Robin Williams) and Time Bandits (which scared the crap out of me!). The drive there in my hometown closed down not long after that. It also had an attached amusement park- no big coasters or anything, just little rides for the kids. I was very sad when it closed.
Many years later when we moved to Kentucky, we were very happy to realize that there are three within the surrounding counties. We go regularly as a family- dog included. It's perfect if you go into town early, get pizza, then sit in the lawnchairs and wait for the evening to wind down and the movie to start.
I though MIB3 was really good too!!!
Fun post!

Taryn Raye said...

JM- I think we're definitely going to have to invest in some lawn chairs for when it's hotter on these summer nights. It was a lot of fun and it definitely has a different feel to it than going to a building and sitting in the dark with other people. To me, if had that small town "county fair" feel, which is something I've been missing.

Teresa Reasor said...

When I was about eight and my brother six we went to see a James Bond movie with our parents. My dad was in the Marines and we had this big military green Oldsmobile with a back seat big enough to sleep a family of four. Mark, my brother, took a whole package of Bazooka bubble gum with him and chewed every piece.
In the middle of the movie he blew a bubble the size of the Epcot Center at Disney World.
Wellll, it popped. He had it in his hair, his eyebrows, his eyelashes, on his clothes, on the seats, everywhere. I was scrunched over against the window trying to stay out of the line of fire. I said, "Mom, Mark popped a bubble."
Her eyes fixed on Sean Connery's bare chest she said, That's good, honey."
He'd spat out this big wad of gum the size of a golf ball and was trying to clean the stuff off his face then started threatening me with it.
I yelled, "MOM!"
I guess something in my voice must have finally gotten through and she turned to look over her shoulder, at the same time my dad did.
Mom screamed and Dad let out a stream of swear words that could have melted that gum off of Mark had he been standing close enough.
We didn't get to finish the movie. We went home. The next day he got a GI buzz cut that made him look like a Q-tip.
Needless to say my brother wasn't allowed to chew gum again until he started middle school.

Teresa R.

Heather Keen said...

I've been to the Lafayette, TN Drive in on many occassions over the years, but never to the Franklin location... I do believe the Franklin location IS cheaper... so, I will definatly have to check that out... soon!! :

Back in the day we use to take the truck, throw an old matteres in the back, load up a bunch of friends and camp out in the back of the truck for a few hours with a big screen going in front of us!1 Honestly tho, I don't think we ever really payed much attention to the movie playing until we got older... LOL

Thanks for the idea that hadn't crossed my mind in quite some time!! Matter of fact, maybe we could all go together sometime... Me, Brad, You, Dave and the kids... I belive the kids would enjoy it!!

Cherie Marks said...

One of the things my family and I look forward to most when Summer rolls around is the opening of the drive-in. It's about fifteen minutes from our house, has two screens, so shows four movies at any given time (lots to choose from) and everyone has a good time.

About the only time I wouldn't recommend the drive-in is when you have a child two and under. We attempted to see Superman Returns when youngest daughter was around sixteen months. I still tic when I hear the soundtrack to that one. Bad times, bad times.

But we've been many, many times since then and loved it every time. The one thing you can't sit outside without is bugspray, and now that the kids are 6, 10, and 14, the only annoying part of having chairs outside is the constant climbing in and out of the back of the car.

I guess nothing's perfect.

Cheryl Norman said...

Taryn, I miss drive-ins. I did date at them, but then I'm older than you. Probably your parents' age. My drive-ins were in Louisville, Kentucky. One is a K-mart now, one is a mall.

There's nothing quite like the experience! The concession stands had the latest in junk food, and there were swing sets for the kids. Great memories.

Taryn Raye said...

Oh, Teresa! I can imagine the mess your brother made with the bubble gum! Shew!

Heather~ Glad to see you on here. I mentioned it to Dave and he said it did sound like fun if we all go sometime. We'll have to figure something out.

Cherie- I'm so glad my kids are 9 and 13. There are a few things I hadn't thought of with sitting outside the car, but I think too, that it's the good and bad things that make up the whole experience.

Cheryl, maybe you should check to see if they have any around your area. It would make for a great date night.

Tess Grant said...

Hubby and I got to go to onw in...of all places...Honolulu! It was about 15 years back. Sure wish we could find one nearby so the kids could try it out.