Wednesday, February 11, 2009
The Night Out Drive In Theater.
The Night Out Drive In Theater is situated on Highway 1 half way between Dibley in the Downs and Cloverdale in the Shire. The triple feature is about to start. The cars are parked with speaker boxes placed securely in the windows. A steady line of people are returning to their cars with arms full of popcorn, drinks, and candy from the Concession Stand. The sorry excuse for a playground next to the projection tower is deserted. A cool evening breeze is blowing through the inland valleys. It carries the faint smell of the ocean. A pick up truck with its back end full of giggling teenagers is parked in the furthest corner of the lot. That is the row reserved for those that have an interest in something other than the movie's plot. Someone on the front row honks their horn causing a domino effect of honking throughout the several acres of parked cars. It stops when the coming attractions replace the dancing hot dogs and popcorn boxes enticing you to go back to the Concession Stand and spend the remaining money in your pocket.
Twilight darkens to night and the first movie flickers to life. The large screen is back dropped by the dark outline of the Confederacy’s rolling evergreen hills. This is Friday the 13th and to celebrate, The Night Out Drive In Theater starts with the horror classic The Dead are Alive! Thirty minutes into the movie four cars turn on their headlights and exit slowly through the tire spiked gate. A sign hangs over head warning drivers of severe tire damage if they back up. The spikes are a deterrent to keep cars from sneaking into the theater without a ticket. The people in the exiting cars are members of Cloverdale's First Baptist Church's Youth Group 'The Young Crusaders'. They thought The Dead are Alive was a Christian movie about the end of the world, the resurrection and eternal judgment. They stop at the ticket booth to request a refund. The manager is sympathetic but refuses. The Baptists say he carries a grudge against them for picketing the theater when it showed Titanic. The 'Young Crusaders' objected to its overemphasis on love, romance and nudity. They wanted everyone to know the true story of Titanic - God's wrath against a ship its builders claimed was unsinkable. They felt the movie needed to place more of an emphasis on the passenger's horrible deaths by drowning and freezing, thus showing the fate of all those who challenge the might of God.
The manager seems mysteriously pleased about something as they leave, cursing the theater with every vile plaque they could remember from the story of Moses.
Humans aren't the only ones who enjoy a movie at The Night Out Drive In Theater. Several cows from the neighboring farm have taken a liking to the silver screen. They gather every night at the fence to watch the evening's show. This drew the attention of the Animal Psychology Department of Confederacy Junior College. Several students were awarded a college grant to study this oddity. The students monitored the cows by video camera to see if they moved if their view of the screen was blocked by members of the school’s football team performing community service hours for misdeeds caught on camera by Hanne Hush. Another student attached sensors to one cows eyelids to track eye movements. Was the cow watching the screen or the nearby concession stand? The College's Department of Animal Dissection and Taxidermy captured several cows to study their brains. It was thought the cinema watching cows might have larger brains than your non cinema grazing cows. The results were inconclusive. The meat from the butchered cows provided several delicious fund raising barbecues sponsored by the college.
The Dead are coming to life. The stillness is going to be woken by screams and moos.
I’ll stop now and concentrate on my box of popcorn and diet coke.