Drive-in movies: should you go the extra mile?

There are only 330 Drive-ins left in the U.S. today.

There are only 330 Drive-ins left in the U.S. today.

Danielle Barnych, Staff Writer

Just like going to the movie theatres today, drive-in movie theatres were the place to be on a Friday night in the 1950’s. Often accompanied by friends or a significant other, teens would flock here searching for a chill hangout where you could socialize with other schools or mingle with other friend groups for the night. When parents talk about their memorable times at drive-ins they refer to it as, “Something special that you would always look forward to because the tv’s we had at home didn’t compare to the huge screen at the drive-in.” In a time where technology and social media are engraved into our lives, we can appreciate the thought of a more intimate and convenient way to hang out with teenagers our age. But is it worth it to keep a tradition like this going in the 21st century?

Often when going to a normal movie theatre you have more selection of movies and better viewing quality. Not to mention that you don’t have to worry about IRMA 2.0 sneaking up on you when you least expect it. Carissa Bowers, an East Lake senior states, “The variation of different movies you can see today and easy availability of seeing movies at a normal movie theatre are why most people don’t go to drive-in’s anymore.” Also, some movie theatres even offer advanced viewing like IMAX or 3D on select movies. Not to mention, that movie theatres like AMC now offer reserved seating which you can order online or on site and some even have reclining seats for improved comfort.

Although modern movie theaters have definitely stepped up their game, the style and charm of a vintage movie-watching experience potentially outweighs the posh AMC movie-viewing experience by a long shot. This is because drive-in movie theatres offer something that is rare in a society full of technology-obsessed teenagers and millennials, a place where teenagers can socialize freely in a more relaxed environment while still having a good time. Lianys Olmeda, a Talon writer, adds that, “The idea of a drive-in movie theatre is amazing. It’s a way to connect with the past when people and everything were more laid back plus you get to view a movie in the comfort of your own car.” If you’re interested in going, the closest drive-in to East Lake is the Fun Lan Drive-In in Tampa on Hillsborough Avenue. So, the next time you watch a movie at a drive-in, remember that you are carrying on a tradition that has lived on and should continue to do so for the kids and adults who take the time to appreciate them.