Do you remember drive-in movie theaters? At their peak in the late 1950s, more than 4,000 were in operation throughout the United States, allowing families to attend movies for a reasonable price and giving teenagers a semi-private dark place for heavy petting (they didn't call them "passion pits" for nothing). They were celebrated musically by everybody from the Beach Boys ("Drive-In," natch) to Bryan Adams ("Summer of '69") to Poison ("Talk Dirty to Me"), served as locations for too many movies to count (Targets, Grease, The Outsiders), and have been the subject of at least two documentaries (After Sunset: The Life & Times of the Drive-In Theater, and Shining Stars: Canada's Drive-In Movie Theatres). Now filmmaker April Wright is shining new light on the subject with her upcoming documentary Going Attractions: The Rise and Fall of the Drive-In as an American Icon.

If you didn't know, there's been a bit of a revival of drive-ins; check out Dennis Cozzalio's blog to read his report on what's been happening in recent years in Southern California and elsewhere, in which he discusses Wright's film. The web site for Going Attractions is skeletal at the moment, but it features two videos: a high-energy trailer and a director's statement in which Wright shares a few personal memories from her younger years in Illinois and talks about the impact drive-ins have had on American society. She says that she's already traveled more than 16,000 miles through 30 states, and is planning to do a little more traveling this year with the goal of finishing the film in the fall. The site has a jaw-dropping list of drive-ins that Wright has visited so far. What about you? Is there a drive-in theater in your past? Or is there one operating now in your neck of the woods?

[Via Sergio Leone and the Infield Fly Rule]
categories Cinematical