Stay-at-Home Drive-In Movie Madness!!

After regular movie theaters have suspended operations, many couples and families have rediscovered Drive-In Movie Theaters, where social distancing is a standard feature! My sister is a drive-in movie buff, and so she and her husband love to go to the Blue Fox Drive-In up on Oak Harbor, one of five still running in our state.

Mahoning Drive-in, Leighton Pennsylvania

Sadly, now even drive-ins will need to close for a while in keeping with Washington State’s newly issued Stay Home, Stay Healthy order, but never fear: we have the solution! Kanopy, available with your Seattle Public Library card, has everything you need for a classic Drive In movie night at home  – including some wonderfully schlocky classic drive-in movie fare. First of all, learn about the history of drive-ins and their revival with a pair of documentaries:

  • At the Drive-In: Saving the Mahoning Drive-In Theater. Unable to purchase a $50,000 digital projector, a group of quirky film fanatics in rural Pennsylvania fight to keep a dying drive-in theater alive by screening only vintage 35mm film prints and working entirely for free. An award-winning underdog story.
  • Going Attractions: The Definitive Story of the American Drive-In Movie. A product of post World War II optimism, the drive-in movie theater emerged as the perfect blend of entertainment and car culture. In light of the recent resurgence of drive-in theaters, this informative documentary studies the factors that affected the drive-in’s dramatic rise, decline and rebirth.

Then check out Kanopy’s other offerings to create your own double feature. In amongst a wealth of classic art house films and award-winning international cinema, lurk some truly forgettable yet indelible B-movies, redolent of the heyday of drive-in cinema. Note: none of these are family films. I’m talking about movies such as…

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  • Willow Creek. Only one way to improve upon The Blair Witch Project: add Bigfoot! Bobcat Goldthwait directs.
  • Parasite. No, not the 2019 Oscar winner. Demi Moore’s 1982 big screen debut, with an 11% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
  • Black Christmas. 1974 Sorority slasher with Margot Kidder, Andrea Martin, and John Saxon!
  • Driller Killer. “The blood runs in rivers… The drill keeps on drilling!”
  • The Terror. This 1963 Roger Corman Poe flick features Jack Nicholson looking about 7 years old.
  • Nightmare Beach. My favorite thing about this 1989 bike gang slasher flick is the name of John Saxon’s character: Strycher!
  • A Town Called Hell. Starring Telly Savalas, Martin Landau and Robert Shaw. Rated TP, for Testosterone Poisoning.
  • Astro-Zombies. With a budget of $37K, rest assured John Carradine earns every cent of his $3K cut.
  • Billy the Kid vs. Dracula. “I have worked in a dozen of the greatest, and I have worked in a dozen of the worst. I only regret Billy the Kid Versus Dracula. Otherwise, I regret nothing.” – John Carradine.
  • Dracula’s Dog. aka Zoltan: Hound of Dracula. “Man’s best friend is now man’s worst fiend…”
  • Blackenstein. Well, it’s no “Blackula,” but…
  • Dolemite. The one and only, with his All-Girl Army of Kung Fu Killers.
  • Dementia 13.”You Must Pass the “D-13″ Test To Prepare You for the Horrifying Experience of Dementia 13. If You Fail the Test…You Will Be Asked to Leave the Theater!” Where Francis Ford Coppola got his start.
  • Death Bed: The Bed That Eats People. I have nothing to add.

  ~ posted by David W.

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