Last updated 9/4/06. New pics start on page 6
The Ultimate Pontiac GTO Picture Site
by Sean Mattingly.
13-24 Drive-in (Wabash, Indiana): I decided to try and visit all the open drive-ins in Indiana in my '68 GTO. I called it the "UltimateGTO.com Drive-In Movie Tour '06". You're invited to come to the movies too! It beats the HotRod "power tour" in number of popcorns consumed. Bring your car or truck or van and we'll take some photos and hang around together. This is the first drive-in movie I visited on Saturday, April 22nd, 2006. It was a pretty good place. They keep it up with a good refreshment stand, good sounding FM audio, real restrooms and fresh gravel rather than mud holes to drive through. I like to watch part of the first movie from a lawnchair next to my car. A lot of people will come around and talk about cars. That's fun. "Scary Movie 4" is very funny - even better if you saw last summer's "War Of The Worlds" remake. It's a spoof of that. Many quick laughs. Unfortunately, the 2nd feature, "Larry The Cable Guy Health Inspector" sucks hard. It's stupid from the first line. A lot of people drove away during that one.|
CLICK-> Here I am entering the 13-24 drive-in theater. My hood tach is tach'in. After viewing this photo, I decided to repaint the area around the lens the correct color of black later. In case you're thinking about visiting the 13-24 drive-in, they're near the intersection of state highways 13 and 24. See their listing on drive-ins.com at http://www.drive-ins.com/theater/int1324 and the theater's own website at http://www.1324drivein.com
CLICK-> Melody Drive-In (Knox, Indiana): This is the second Drive In Theater I visited on my 2006 "tour". Now it's another Saturday night, April 29th. Melody is located just north of Winamac and south of Knox, near Bass Lake. This is a handsome silver and black banner that hangs on the entrance fence. It promotes the two FM stereo frequencies that carry the movie's soundtrack. In the car I have a small boombox radio with batteries. I listen to that so my car's radio won't drain the battery through two films. Mostly, it's because my '68 only came from the factory with an AM radio!
CLICK-> Here I am driving into the Melody Drive-In Theater. From the looks of the signs, I knew this was going to be an old-fashioned place. The lady at the ticket booth was very nice. In change, she gave me a fifty-cent piece. When's the last time you got one of those? I thought they were extinct. She even handed me a ticket and a neat two-sided flyer which promoted upcoming movies. I'll scan that later. See the hood tach? Two hours before this trip, I repainted the area surrounding the hood tach glass the correct color of black.
CLICK-> This sign at the Melody is a reminder. Don't forget to turn off your lights. They made this rule so lights don't distract and interrupt the other people who are watching the movie. If you've never been to a drive-in, it might be a good time to figure out how to turn off your headlights, instrument lights, and dome lights. For some newer cars, you can set the parking brake to kill the automatic headlights if you need to start the car during the movie. You'll need the radio on which might also light your instrument lights. In some cars you can do this by dimming the dash lights which can also turn off your dome light for when you get out of the car during the movie.
CLICK-> A panoramic photo. It's about 45 minutes before showtime and the cars are steaming into the lot. See screen #2 in the back. The Melody Drive-In has the old speakers on posts between the cars. They were in good repair and actually sounded good. They also broadcast the sound on low-power FM within the grounds.
CLICK-> Another view of Melody's screen #2 in the back. See the yellow poles? Park next to the yellow ones for screen #2 so you hear the correct sound.
CLICK-> We're looking at screen #1 as I cruise the lot. I always take a slow lap or two around a drive-in to check it out. No need to rush right in and get a parking space right away. It's more fun to cruise and wave at the people and see if any other old cars are there that night. Some cars are already parked on the little hills. These humps are made to park the front of your car on so it points up to the screen. It's funny to see "newbies" parking straight on top or pointed down on these hills. The metal building to the left is the projector shack for screen #2. See the wooden pole? It has small FM transmitting antennas on it.
CLICK-> Peeking out the side of the Goat before showtime. Mmm! I can smell the pizza cookin' in the Melody snack bar. They give you a big slice of what I'd guess is a Tombstone brand pizza. I saw "RV" starring Robin Williams from the comfort of my GTO seat. You won't believe that the song "Little GTO" appears in the movie at least three times. The husband and wife sing it in the RV while driving for quite a while. You hear "Little GTO" again as Robin Williams is climbing a red and white RV. And they play an instrumental version of "Little GTO" at the end of the movie! Everytime they did that song, I felt like honking my horn! ...except I was afraid of mis-signaling the projectionist that the film was broken.
CLICK-> The movie begins with an ad for the best GTO site on the net. I wonder if they knew I was there. Umm, I must admit I drew this with my graphics program. It just looked like a good place for a giant advertisement for the giant-est GTO photo website. On this particular evening, they were showing "RV" starring Robin Williams, Benchwarmers, Take The Lead, and Scary Movie 4. In case you're interested in visiting the Melody Drive-In Theater, a Mapquest map is at http://tinyurl.com/emvwf and the Melody Drive-In website is at http://www.melodydrivein.com and their listing on drive-ins.com is at http://www.drive-ins.com/theater/intmelo
CLICK-> Huntington Drive-In Theater (Huntington, Indiana): The third stop on the drive-in tour was May 6th, 2006. This place is in town, literally IN town, with houses surrounding it. But that's not a bad thing. It was an interesting setting with a family atmosphere. Mary Ann and I paused for a photo of the car at the entrance near dusk.
CLICK-> We're in a short line for "Mission Impossible 3" starring Tom Cruise. The 2nd movie is "Failure To Launch". This is the entrance gate and ticket window at Huntington. The nice guy inside asked about the car. "Is that a sixty-eight?". Yep, you got that right. It was not very expensive to get in, just $7 each. My wife Mary Ann paid for the tickets! About ticket prices, movie theaters make most of their money in the concession stand. An often-high percentage of the monies received for ticket sales must be paid to the film studios as film rent. Therefore, for a theater to survive, theater operators must depend on their customers to patronize their snack bars.
CLICK-> Once inside the gate, I cruised around the lot one time. The movie screen is new. They had to install it in 2005 after a severe wind storm knocked down the original one. This is one of the few drive-ins that still has a playground up front for the kids. Some good cars were showing up before showtime. The young couple inside this Desoto seemed quite friendly with each other on this moonlit Saturday night. I like the bold fins on this huge car.
CLICK-> This facility built in 1950 is equipped with pole speakers and FM radio sound. The speakers sounded quite good. This is the front of the Huntington snack bar building which doubles as the projection building. I tend to park near the snack bar building. Before the movie, they were playing the "Beep Beep" car song. You know, the one where the Nash Rambler is stuck in second gear and going faster and faster. Whenever the song goes "Beep Beep", all the cars in the place would beep their horns! That was a unique group participation thing I've never seen before.
CLICK-> The movie is just about to start. The Huntington Drive-In is special because they still go to the trouble of showing trailers and promo shorts with the movies. This is the first time I tried to snap a photo of a screen with a projection on it. It says "Make this drive-in theatre a regular habit". Ok!
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