2020 Year End Review: Part 4 – The Return of the Drive-In

One of the positives for 2020 was the resurgence of the drive-in theaters. With all the social distancing, a drive-in theater is the perfect place to go see a movie, staying safe by not having to be in a large group of people. In fact, we made more trips to the drive-ins this year than we normally do, and had a blast each and every time. It was just a magical return to somewhat of our normal convention or movie viewing get-togethers, even though everyone was very good about keeping our space and wearing masks. But even with that, it was so much fun, and a little resemblance of the much-missed conventions.

We were at the Midway Drive-in 4 times this year, the first for their Bruce Campbell Fest in July, getting to see the classic Evil Dead trilogy, along with grindhouse classics like The Beyond and I Drink Your Blood. We were setting up there as vendors and was blown away by the amount of people that came out for this event. Even with the forecast of rain most of the day, people still came out. Maybe because there really hadn’t been any conventions this year that people were starving for some sort of movie related gathering. People were very aware of social distancing, making sure they had their required masks on when they were outside of their car, and didn’t crowd around the vendors. But they did come to spend money and more importantly, they came to have fun! Which exactly what they did.

Then we were back in September for their annual From Dusk Till Dawn Horrorfest, where we got to see Night of the Living Dead (1968), The Fog (1980), David Cronenberg’s Rabid (1977), and Humanoids from the Deep (1980). What an amazing night. I’ve seen Night on the big screen more than a few times and it never loses it’s power. And on the flipside to that, getting to see Humanoids from the Deep for the first time on the big screen, with all the gore and nudity, it made me feel like a kid again! Not to mention it being a pretty fun monster movie!

We were back to the Midway in October twice, the first being for the screening of three Universal classics, The Bride of Frankenstein (1935), The Wolf Man (1941), and Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948), which was just a fantastic time. I had seen most of the Universal horror classics on the big screen before, but not the Abbott & Costello one so being a childhood favorite, and a really fun movie, this was a real treat. Then the following week, we were back for their Night with Michael Myers, where they screen the first 4 Halloween films that Myers was in. While I may not be the biggest fan of them after part 2, it was still great to see a packed drive-in and a lot of people there to have fun.

We also made two trips down to Shelbyville, IN, to the Skyline Drive-in. The first one was for their annual Super Monster Movie Fest, where they were celebrating Bug movies! There are few words that could describe the excitement of seeing films like Them! (1954) and The Deadly Mantis (1957) on the big screen. It was also great to be able to meet up with some friends, both local and ones that were crazy enough as me to drive several hours to go watch some movies at the drive-in! Friends are one of the best reasons for these trips.

Then we were back there again in October for their 2-night Hammer fest, where I was able to see 8 different titles from the Studio that Dripped Blood on the big screen! Some of these titles I never thought I would have the chance to see on the big screen, so a HUGE thanks to the Skyline for making this happen. Sure, it was a bit chilly at night, but it definitely was one of the highlights of my year.

Now if we can only get a Naschy Fest planned….

So a huge thank you to Mike & Mia and the whole Midway family, as well as Joe & Matt and the whole Skyline Family, for continuing to put on these amazing events, and helping to keep the spirit of the drive-in alive and well! I know I am always promoting these different drive-in events and there is a simple reason for that. THEY ARE FUN! Even once the pandemic is over, these are still places you should go to and continue to support. People that own and operate drive-in theaters are not doing it because of the tons of cash rolling in. In fact, they are usually always struggling to stay open! But they do it because they love it and have the same passion for movies as we do. If you haven’t gone out to support these two theaters, please make it a point to do that in 2021. I’m pretty sure you’ll have a blast. I know I personally can’t wait for next year to be back for more!

See you at the drive-in!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s