At The Drive In

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Way back in 1933, American Richard M. Hollingshead Jr. opened the world’s first commercial drive-in Pennsauken, New Jersey with the slogan “The whole family is welcome, regardless of how noisy the children are.”  While that line alone is enough to make me love drive-ins, it’s taken a chance move into a house down the street from the Village Coburg Drive-In to make me into a true drive-in enthusiast. Yes, the selection of films may be restricted to blockbusters and family films (good luck trying to see Black Swan), yet if you keep a keen eye on the listings and pick your moment to strike there are few movie experiences more enjoyable. The time has come to reacquaint yourself with a forgotten pleasure because drive-ins are—in the parlance of our times—the bomb shit.

Things have changed a lot at the drive-in since the fifties hey-days of tinny single speakers dangling from car windows.  These days the sound is pumped out via local FM transmitters, giving you full stereo sound at whatever capacity your car’s speakers are capable of.  Want more popcorn or a drink without missing the flick?  Simply send a text message and somebody from the snack bar will deliver it to your car—though be warned: they usually wait just long enough to scare the shit out of you when they tap on the window.

The best part though is the simple joy of watching a film on the big screen while safely tucked away in the privacy of your own customised screening zone.  Snacks, pillows, blankets, beer (always making use of a designated driver of course) – you can bring whatever it is that tickles your fancy.  Hell, you can even go in your pyjamas if you want, and all with the freedom to smack-talk the film without any pissed-off shushing from the darkness behind you.  Plus it ain’t too shabby for date-nights either.

While you may have to go a bit out of your way to get there (Melbourne’s three remaining drive-ins dot the outer suburbs of Coburg, Dandenong, and Dromana), with carload deals and the option to watch a second film for a few extra bucks sweetening the deal, the drive-in is a nostalgic treat too good to refuse.  It’s summer time people.  Rustle up some friends, dangle your feet out the windows and enjoy.

Coburg Drive In
155 Newlands Rd, Coburg
9354 8633 for session time information

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