I showed up at the first outdoor movie at Screen on the Green Friday night because I had to. Armed with a camera, I was only there to get a few photos of kids watching movies and head out before the opening credits were done. To me, it was just work ... get the picture and go. But a funny thing happened Friday at the outdoor cinema at Depot Park, under a clear sky on a particularly warm spring night sitting with about 100 men, women and children in front of the giant inflatable movie screen ... darn if I didn't get a bit nostalgic.
The event - the first of what looks to be yet another successful Downtown Sanford Inc. summer outdoor film series - reminded me of when I was about 5-8 years old and my parents took us to the old drive-in theater in little Richmond, Ohio.
Yes, the drive-in. I'm sure some of you remember them. Car full of family, sandy lot lined with polls that hung those little metal speakers that cracked and popped throughout the flick (these days, you just tune in your radio to a low FM frequency to get the sound).
My parents would pack my brother, sister and I into the car, pop open the back hatch, and we'd lay there and watch "The Goonies," "E.T." or whatever else was playing in the early 80s. I remember on a return trip to visit my grandparents, we saw "Honey I Shrunk the Kids."
I absolutely loved the drive-in ... everything about it, and it's been sad that I've not been able to live near another in my 30-plus years. I recently Googled drive-ins in North Carolina, and while they're nearly extinct, there are a few good ones left in our state. I hope to one day take my wife and family to one so they can get the same feeling from it that I did.
Until then ... Screen on the Green outdoor movies in Sanford comes awfully close. It didn't hurt that the weather was perfect Friday, and there were dozens of kids running around and playing up until the ants started bullying each other on screen (I assume that's what the movie was about).
If you didn't catch this one, I suggest you try the next outdoor film, especially if you have children.
Source: "Memories of the drive-in" by Billy Liggett -The Sanford Herald. Read full article at: http://sanford.southernheadlines.com/index.cfm?section=49&story=16010