Saturday, August 25, 2007


I went to a drive in this summer. I haven't been to a drive in since the old "Highway 69 Drive In" of my misspent youth in Sudbury. I was looking for an image of the 69 Drive in (named for the highway that ran alongside it not for the activities that may or may not have occurred during a bad movie*ahem*) Instead I found this entry from IMDB: Corpse Eaters 1974

Produced in 1973 by Lawrence Zazalenchuk, who owned "The 69 Drive-In" on route 69 outside of Sudbury, Ontario. He had saved $36,000 from working at a nickel mine and decided to write and produce a horror film to screen at his own drive-in. Director Donald Passmore was hired, then fired four days and replaced by Klaus Vetter. Once finished, Zazalenchuk found he could not afford the lab costs to have film developed, but finally saved enough in drive-in proceeds. The film premiered at "The 69 Drive-In" in 1974 and went on to a long local run before it was bought and shelved by a New York distributor in the market for a tax write-off.

Click this for the full IMDB entry.

1974 was a bit before my drive in days, but as a rabid fan of very bad movies in general I cannot believe that this one from my own home town has escaped me! Could it be worse than my all time favorite bad movie Shriek of the Mutilated??? (no shrieking, no mutilation just a man in a bad furry snowman suit and a college professor with some students-- I shan't say more lest I give away the plot.)

But this post is not about the past it's about this past June when we went to Sandbanks and it was FREEZING cold and we discovered the Mustang Drive-in!

Let's all go to the lobby!

Let's all go to the lobby!

Let's all go to the lobby...

Hey! Where's the lobby?!

It was a promising start as we drove up and found the ticket booth to be an old bus. Awesome. And the price? $6.00 for a double feature that ended up being a TRIPLE feature! We saw Evan Almighty (ugh. boo hisss) and Knocked Up (I'd have loved it more 20 years ago but it was still way way better than feature #1) and the third, surprise movie was some horror movie that we passed on as it was already 1am and the thought of driving down dark, winding country roads around 3am to our campsite in the foggy night after seeing a horror movie was, well, not something we wanted to try.

one please

The snack bar was fairly run down but they had a good selection inside.

That's going to be one long movie.

Actually everything was run down but, really, does it matter? You sit in your cozy car anyway. And to see the movie you put the seats right back, almost flat. Very odd. The old speakers were still on some of the stands. For those who remember putting the speaker on your window and then rolling the window up, ah, nostalgia. Now you tune in on your FM dial.

This lady was dressed for an evening out, complete with pillows and everything.

She'd done this before she said.

Note: IMHO this picture's worth clicking on

Cars now have those daytime running lights that are always on so when they shine toward the screen they can ruin the movie and so you have to deal with that somehow. I think ours turned off so we didn't have to figure that out. But they did mention what to do over the radio. Oh yeah, you put the emergency brake on and the lights go off. That's what you do.

There's a movement I was reading about called Guerrilla Drive-ins. They are run by DIY folks who want to show movies to their communities. I would love to do this. Here's a great little page to inform you. Click here for further instructions... Why not have a neighbourhood bbq and movie night? Ottawa was doing this with the movies downtown series. But since I no longer live downtown, I don't know if they did it this year.


Tim Hunt said...

Hey RCD, I remember the '69 with fondness. I don't think I ever saw a movie I liked there. It was a good spot to drink beer with 12 people in a rusted out Suburban. I saw "The Rose" there and a bunch of other movies I never would have paid to see without the incentive of alchohol. It also reminds me of my scariest ride home ever with a drunk driver.
Late night TV is on. "Godzilla has turned Tokyo into a sea of flames". Gotta Go!


Anonymous said...

It's true. I remember the '69 as the place you stowed away in the trunk so you could get in free. I remember lots of roaming among cars, lots of "whoops!" as you spilled everything all over. And yeah, lots of booze.