Horror Fans Rejoice at the Midway Drive-In


We normally do 8 or 9 conventions, or some other event like a 24-hour marathon, throughout the year. Of course, with all the current events, those have all been cancelled or rescheduled to next year, or at least they have so far. We’ll see how the rest of the year plays out, but I’m honestly not expecting much. So when the Midway Drive-In announced they were going to have a 2-day event, with Evil Dead star Bruce Campbell appearing both days, screening the Evil Dead trilogy, along with two other features, as well as having some vendors there, we knew we had to be part of that. Friday, July 10th, they would be screening Evil Dead 2 (1987) and then Army of Darkness (1993). On Saturday the 11th, they would be screening Evil Dead (1981) with a 4K restoration with new sound mix and score by original composer Joseph LoDuca, The Beyond (1981), and finally I Drink Your Blood (1970). Not only would there be horror vendors and raffles, but Mr. Campbell would doing a Q&A before the features. It would also be a chance for fans to have some sort of a convention or event to head out to and have fun. And that is exactly what happened.


Yes, there were going to be restrictions to keep everyone safe. Facemasks had to be worn if you were outside your car. You had to make sure you were practicing social distancing, from going up to the vendors, the restrooms, or even snack bar. This was for everyone’s safety, and it just made sense.

The week leading up to this weekend, we were constantly checking out the weather forecast, which was not looking completely promising. Rain was definitely in the forecast. Being a vendor and setting up outside is not the best idea when there is a chance of rain. Being a vendor that sells books, setting up outside with a chance of rain is a worse idea. But we wanted to be part of this and tried to come up with the best way to do this. We bought a 10×10 canopy that would help. Granted, rain usually doesn’t come straight down but with some extra tarps, we figured we could make this happen.

midway line

We would have arrived at the drive-in early on Friday, but had realized we had forgotten a few essential supplies… like our tables! After a quick stop at the local Wal-Mart, we were good to go. There is a thing about being a vendor that most people might not realize. Setting up at a con, you have a table, so you plan on how you’ll have your merch or whatever set up and arranged, as well as places for any back stock or other supplies. But when you go to an event to setup, that is different than what you’ve done before, you have to really think and try to pre-plan as much as you can, but also be prepared for any last minute changes or things you didn’t count on. Like the chance of rain for example. Or being outside in the blazing sun in the middle of July. A lot of times, no matter how long you’ve been doing this, you will still learn a few things to do “the next time”. Thankfully, Mike and Mia at the Midway were completely understanding of the needs of the vendors and worked with us, making things so much easier, and easing the stress.

Did I mention it was hot? It was supposed to only be in the mid 80s, but it felt like an oven. It did help to be under our little tent, but it was still hot. Drinking plenty of water, using sunscreen, we sweat our way through.

Friday setup

Set up next to us were our friends Jill and Gregg from Lixonline. I’ve known Jill for 20 years from doing shows so it always great to be next to them, trying not to chat too much to Gregg about the recent movies we’ve seen, or at least until they are all set up! Otherwise, no cookies from Jill! If you’ve visited Lix’s booth at a con, you probably know about the cookies Jill passes out. On the other side was Matt and Chris representing Severin Films, giving fans to pick up even more great titles for their collection.

Drive-in fans

At 3pm, they started letting in the VIP ticket holders. Once those cars started coming in, it was as just as busy, if not more, than a lot of regular conventions we vend at. Maybe it was because people were just anxious to have some sort of event like this go out and celebrate being a horror fan. Since pretty much all cons have been cancelled so far this year, people needed that escape. And the Midway gave them that ticket. It was so great to see so many people coming out, for many different reasons. First and foremost, seeing a drive-in fill up with carloads of eager movie fans, in this day and age, just warms my heart. Sure, regular movie theatres are still closed, or just now opening, but the drive-in experience is something quite different. So to see all these people, from very young to old-timers like me, all coming together to take part in this event was just so cool to see.

With all the precautionary rules set in place, with the facemasks and stuff, everyone seemed to be taking it seriously and wearing their masks. Sure, in this heat, it wasn’t the most comfortable, but everyone was onboard and dealing with the times we are living in, without a complaint. It was so nice to see people being respectful of both each other and us vendors.

Bruce Campbell’s Q&A started about 9pm and they wanted us done breaking down before that started so because we weren’t sure exactly how long it was going to take, we started a little after 7pm, which worked out just fine. Once we were done, we sat with some friends to watch the Q&A which was pretty fun, and then stayed for Evil Dead 2. It is amazing how much the temperature can change. From being sweaty and baking in the heat all day, sitting out there watching a film, almost shivering out of our chair, it was quite the experience! But we managed through it. Since the drive-in was the place I saw Evil Dead 2 for the very first time, back in when it was first released, it is always nice seeing it again this way. The next film up was Army of Darkness, which I will admit that I don’t know if I need to see ever again. It was great when I was younger, but not just seems to be a bit too silly. Just my opinion, folks.

sign saturday

Throughout the day on Friday, we were all keeping an eye on the weather for Saturday, which pretty much said it was going to rain all day, which would make setting up a wee bit challenging. We started to come up with a plan to have a different kind of set up, in case it was raining. The plan we devised was more like an old fashion flea market, with most of our stuff being inside our van. That way if the rain did start, we could pretty much just shut the doors and be done.

saturday set up

Saturday morning, the weather was now reporting rain around 1pm, but stopping before 3pm, with another storm hitting around 7-8pm. If that was the case, we could be open for business when they started letting people in at 3pm, then close up before the second wave it. But, and you gotta love how accurate the weather reports are, as the day went on, that first storm never even came by us. We had clear skies the whole day. The day was another continuation of Friday, with plenty of fans piling in and heading up to check out the vendors.


The rain that had kept threatening us seemed to be moving farther and farther out when it was actually going to hit. By 7pm, we could see it approaching. And fast. See the photos below to see the progress, which took about 30 minutes to take place. We quickly started packing up so by the time we got all loaded and drove around to the back of the drive-in, the clouds were coming in, giving a glorious show of colors and lights. One would always swear that at any moment a gigantic spaceship was going to come bursting through the storm clouds! But no, just rain. And lots of it. I’m still shocked at how lucky us vendors were that it waited until we were done and packed. Plus, after a downpour for about an hour, it stopped. Just in time for Bruce’s Q&A and the movies. Again, like it was just supposed to happen that way.

Even with the heat beating down on us both days, the constant threat of rain, it was such a great weekend. Since we hadn’t had a real convention since last October, it was really an amazing time. I’m sure everyone else there really needed that break from reality. A special thanks again out to Mike & Mia, and the whole Midway Drive-in and Flashback staff for making this event possible and making it so much fun. It means a lot to me, and I know I’m not alone in that. Stay tuned to their website for another great From Dusk till Dawn Horrorfest coming this fall!

See you next time at the drive-in!


One thought on “Horror Fans Rejoice at the Midway Drive-In

  1. Great recap! I honestly haven’t been to the drive-in in quite a while… mostly because I haven’t owned a car since 1996. #cityliving

    One of my fondest memories was seeing the first three Friday the 13th movies as a triple feature… back when there were only three!

    Liked by 1 person

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