Last updated 10/21/07. Newest pics start on page 3.
2007 Drive-In Movie Tour coverage
Next tour date:
Spring, 2008- I'll post the 2008 schedule in the Spring
on Page 3
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CLICK-> At the drive-up ticket window, the friendly young man is handing out these flyers. The information indicates which radio station to tune to for the movie sound. There's also an extensive selection of menu items at the concession stand. This is one of the very few places that will still sell a "cup of ice" to their patrons. Most others have signs hanging in their concession stands proclaiming "WE DO NOT SELL ICE!". Did you read the flyer text yet? Don't believe the note on there about "all radios since 1957 won't drain your battery". Although I've seen that statement on a few drive-in flyers, it is false. Modern cars are loaded with accessories that WILL drain the battery if the ignition switch is left in the accessory position. For best results, during the movies, start your car every half hour or so to recharge the auto battery. Most drive-in patrons know to bring a battery-powered boom box for the sound.
CLICK-> The sky is awash in vivid sunset. We're hanging out, comparing notes on the '67 and '68 GTOs. In the background is the Lake Shore's giant snack bar. They have the perfect building arrangement. The large windows face the main screen. That way, patrons standing in the snack bar line can still watch the movie as they wait. Although we didn't have to wait long. Their refreshment line moves fast. They keep plenty of workers on hand.
CLICK-> NEW POST Mark & Bonnie sent in some photos they took of their evening at the drive-in movies. Pictured are the '67 GTO next to a '68 GTO. Sean and Mary Ann are hanging out, talking about cars.
CLICK-> NEW POST A perfect view of the drive-in movie screen. Two Pontiac GTOs are parked on the lot.
CLICK-> Before the first movie started, a passerby asks what's under the hood of Mark's 1967 GTO. He's happy to pop the hood for a look. Take in all the detail shown in this extra-large image. Another guy stopped by to ask if I'd trade him wheels. I've got a '68 with 14-inch Cragars. He had some new 15-inch Cragars with new tires on his Firebird. Maybe I should have traded for those?
CLICK-> The spring of 2007 is just about perfect with a nice weather Saturday night. We discovered that the snack bar at the Lake Shore Drive-In was spotless. They had a great assortment of food items to choose from. The people at the counter were very friendly. They asked when the images of their drive-in would be posted on this website. The snack bar was nicely decorated with some muscle car memorabilia and other old signs. I'm rating each theater on a five star scale. I'm giving them 5 stars for overall appearance/appeal. This older facility is well-kept. For example, did you see the gorgeous lettering on the back of the screen tower? They get 5 stars for the snack bar. They have a self-serve butter dispenser in the lobby, man! You could practically stick your head under it and fill 'er up if you wanted to. We got pizza and super nachos. Both were hot and fresh. They get 4 stars for projection quality & sound. While they did pretty good, they started the previews and the first movie too early. They were projecting before it got dark so the early part of the movie was dim and hard to see. Cars were still driving into the place because it wasn't dark yet. I almost subtracted another star for the guy in a red truck that drove in after the show started. He was racing around the parking rows looking for a spot. No one should drive that fast in a facility that has kids all around, some sitting in the gravel on blankets. This wreckless guy in the red truck was backing up real fast and almost hit the front of my car as he backed up at full speed. Then he badly parked about 2 inches from a van's driver side door. They should have asked him to leave. I'm giving 4 stars for their prices. You can see them on the scan of the menu on a previous photo. They get 3 stars for the restrooms. They were clean, but goofy. Whose idea was it to put the men's urinals side-by side with zero space in between? These urinals were so close together that guy's shoes and arms were touching each other. Too close for comfort. That was weird construction! But seriously, it was nowhere as bad as the construction of the shabby restrooms at Winchester Drive-In. Theirs are built un-usable and disgusting. Those jokers built a stall door so it touches the front of the toilet seat. So you'd sit where when the door is closed? Ha ha. Monticello gets 4 stars for their showmanship. Between movies, the announcer was promoting the snack bar items with flair. I had already eaten my meal for the evening, but he was making the other foods sound real good, making me want to go try more stuff on the snack bar menu. Considering these ratings, this place ranks among the very best drive-ins in Indiana. I would consider returning here.
CLICK-> Clermont Deluxe Drive-In (Clermont, Indiana): On June 2, 2007 the fourth stop on the tour was a little west of Indianapolis. This is the sign at the entrance. The driveway is right across the street from Indianapolis Raceway Park (now called O'Reilly's Raceway Park). This drive-in opened in 1950 so they're in their 57th year of operation. I drove my GTO there on a Saturday night to check out the place.
CLICK-> A novel idea. Here is a close-up of some old movie projectors. They hold the spotlights that illuminate the sign. Very creative. If this were a night shot, you could see the illuminated rope lights that simulate film on the film reels. This place has a fun family atmosphere inside and out.
CLICK-> This sign reads "WELCOME TO INDIANA'S FINEST DRIVE-IN THEATRE". See the speakers mounted to the sign pole. This place has speakers mounted everywhere inside. You can hear the movie sound anywhere you walk on the grounds. It's in the concession stand, along the sidewalks, everywhere. The speakers are turned up loud, but amazingly - there is no distortion! I listened to multiple speakers and was fascinated by the clarity of sound on their old-fashioned style speakers on the poles. They did not muddle the speech like all others I've heard.
CLICK-> The back of the screen looks like a trainwreck. There are rusty guy wires, patched-up panels and a large signboard that needs some paint. This is screen number one of two. On the inside of the facility, the screens look fine.
CLICK-> A vehicle enters the Clermont Deluxe Drive-In Theatre. On this night they were showing Shrek the Third and Disturbia on screen number one. On screen number two we chose to watch Pirates of the Caribbean 3 and Wild Hogs.
CLICK-> After passing the ticket booth, this sign reads "SLOW WATCH FOR CHILDREN". There were a lot of children on hand for the movies on this night. The staff was taking great care to see that all the patrons were safe and happy. They were constantly patrolling in two golf carts, speaking with some of their customers. Sometimes they would stop and remind a driver of an SUV to park in the back rows so the other cars could see the show. They even stopped to apprehend a laser pointer that a patron was pointing at the screen. There is grass throughout the lot and they do allow dogs on leashes.
CLICK-> A short rain shower before showtime brought some welcome relief from the day's heat. During this shower, people continued to play outdoors. We set up some chairs outside the car. Children stayed on the playground in front of the other screen. I'm rating each theater on a five star scale. I'm giving this place 4 stars for overall appearance/appeal. Some of their construction methods were odd. The corrugated tin shanty in the back of the snack bar looks like something you'd see in a Hogan's Heroes prison camp. They get 5 stars for the snack bar. The inside of the building is nice and clean. There is an interesting display of historical photos and old newspaper ads on the wall dating back to 1950. They have plenty of friendly helpers behind the counter, and their tenderloin sandwiches are made to order. They get a mere 2 stars for projection quality & sound. While the sound was absolutely awesome, the picture on screen number two was disgustingly dim. Somebody please explain to me everything that happened in Pirates of the Caribbean 3. It was all dark and indistinguishable except for the daylight beach scenes. I'm giving 4 stars for their prices. They get 5 stars for the restrooms. Clermont gets 4 stars for their showmanship. Before the first show, they were playing dancing songs to the delight of the children. They did "The Chicken Dance", "The Macarena", "The Hokey Pokey" and several others. The announcer was great and easy to understand. I would return to this drive-in if only their projection quality would improve. The Clermont Deluxe Drive-In does not have their own website, but the place is described thoroughly at http://www.drive-ins.com/theater/intcler
NEWS 8/07 - The drive-in will close forever on 8/26/07. Here is a local radio interview. WIBC's Dave Wilson with Danny Gregory the leasor: http://media.wibc.com/av/audio/wilson/Clermont.mp3
The local paper covered the story before it closed too. IndyStar "closing" article.
Drive-Ins which we're planning to visit in 2008
(1) Holiday Drive-In Rockport, IN (far southern Indiana near Reo) has 5 screens http://www.holidaydrivein.com Open 3/28/08
(2) Mel's Drive-In Mechanicsburg, IN http://www.drive-ins.com/theater/intmels Opening Spring 2008
(3) 49er Drive-In, 675 N. Calumet Ave. (Old S.R. 49) Valparaiso, IN (219) 462-6122. They have pinball games. http://www.49erdrivein.com
(4) Starlite Drive-In Bloomington, IN http://www.drive-ins.com/theater/intstar
(5) Tri-Way Drive-In, 4400 N. Michigan Road, Plymouth, IN (574) 936-7936 They have three screens and an amazing mini-golf course out front. http://www.triwaydrivein.com and also http://www.triwayfamilygolf.com Opens 4/4/08
(6) Holiday Drive-In, 1055 State Road 37 (Dixie Hwy, a little south of county road 1050), Mitchell, IN 812-849-4992 has 1 screen showing 2 movies nightly. http://www.holidaydrivein.biz Opens 4/18/08
(7) Cinema 67 Drive-In Spencer, IN In 2008, they will be in their 51st year of operation) (812) 879-4240 Directions: 5 miles North of Spencer, Indiana at Junction of Highways 67 & 231 North. Pets are welcome. http://www.cinema67.com Opens April, 2008
(8) Centerbrook Drive-In Martinsville, IN http://www.drive-ins.com/theater/intcent
Some 2007 movie titles we saw together...
Are We Done Yet?, Firehouse Dog, The Reaping, Grindhouse, Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Disturbia, Pathfinder, Perfect Stranger, Redline, Fracture, In the Land of Women, Vacancy, The Condemned, The Invisible, Kickin' It Old Skool, Next, Lucky You, September Dawn, Spider-Man 3, 28 Weeks Later, Delta Farce, The Ex, Georgia Rule, Shortcut to Happiness, Shrek the Third, Bug, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, Gracie, Knocked Up, Mr. Brooks, Hostel: Part II, Ocean's 13, Surf's Up, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, Fido, Nancy Drew, DOA: Dead or Alive, Evan Almighty, A Mighty Heart, Live Free or Die Hard, Death at a Funeral, Martian Child, Ratatouille, Sicko, License to Wed, Transformers, 1408, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, The Strangers, Hairspray, I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, Son of Rambow, No Reservations, The Simpsons Movie, Skinwalkers, Charlie Bartlett, The Bourne Ultimatum, Hot Rod, Resurrecting the Champ, Underdog, Bratz: The Movie, Daddy Day Camp, Rocket Science, Rush Hour 3, Stardust, Fanboys, The Invasion, Super Bad, Wedding Daze, The Comebacks, Good Luck Chuck, The Last Legion, Brothers Solomon, Halloween, Mr. Bean's Holiday, Wristcutters, In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale, Addicted, The Nannie Diaries, The Savages, Shoot 'Em Up, Balls of Fury, The Brave One, Feast of Love, Sunshine, War, In the Valley of Elah, Into the Wild, Resident Evil: Extinction, Sarah Landon, Virgin Territory, Across the Universe, The Dark Is Rising, The Kingdom, Michael Clayton, 3:10 to Yuma, Trick 'r Treat, Untitled Farrelly Brothers Project, Vantage Point, The Eye, The Golden Age, Hitman, Margot at the Wedding