Saturday, October 04, 2003

drive ins

J Walk links to this article about the renaissance of the Drive In in the US.
It's a peculiar mix of retro and new wave, relying on Americans' strong nostalgia and their insatiable demand for the next big thing.

Coincidentally - (in drive-in parlance - almost a twinning moment) boynton had just been discussing this trend with a friend from a local perspective. As the fabulous 1966 Melways street directory testifies, those red triangles were once dotted thoughout the metropolitan region - but for a decade there has only been one remaining . boynton last went to the Coburg drive in to see The Silence of The Lambs - not quite an ideal viewing experience for such a film, but diverting enough. More recently - as my friend informed me - another has opened in Melbourne at Dandenong. Who would have thought that such a commonplace thing, one of those suburban blots on the landscape and rites-of-passage parking lots, teenage pit stops, those diurnal trash and treasure pounds with their nocturnal run of X rated shockers would induce such a wellspring of nostalgia? But suddenly going to the drive in seems appealing again - as long as they show good movies. (boynton's ideal of course would be an Astor style season of classics- or a golden years of hollywood program.)
This led boynton to an amazing site Drive Ins Downunder. Just like the Melways Edition One experience - boynton spent a good hour soaking up the feast of local history - which would seem also to be a chronicle of post-war suburbia and social history. That big outdoor screen seems to mark the demographic trends of baby boom, families, teenagers and eventual retreat into the home entertainment centres.
This is a wonderful, comprehensive site with that local folklore:
Essendon, Maribyrnong, Preston, Reservoir and Northland all took potential cars away from Broadmeadows
and images of universal appeal like the big (ghost) screen at Mildura
or the pictures in a paddock put out to pasture at Cobram

The drive-in market may be a fraction of its peak reached in the 1960’s and 1970’s, but a steady upward demand is the trend today. The drive-ins trade on a unique blend of nostalgia and retro-chic.

boynton pleads guilty to that blend . Hope the program reflects the trend.

(update another twinning sort of experience - (or just a week behind the news) boynton sees an ad in the Age for this new Drive In at the vic market. Inner city, good films, Toorak tractors to park in designated areas- smells like retro chic.)

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