Drive-in Movie Memories (2001)

drive-in“If it’s the 1900’s and you’re going to the movies in the summertime, it’s hot in that theater. So somebody got this brilliant idea to start showing movies outdoors” – Jon Bokenkamp

Number of Times Seen – 1 (9 Oct 2016)

Brief Synopsis – Documentary about the history of the Drive-In movie theaters and what has happened to the venue ever since it’s inception nearly 100 years ago.

My Take on it – I must admit that the only reason I was even drawn to watching this film was because of my fondness for the work of director Kurt Kuenne.

I have been mesmerized with his film work ever since I watched his spectacular documentary last year Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father (2008), which has quickly become my favorite documentary ever.

This was one of his first films and he is able to give us a compelling history of the venue of the Drive-In movie theater.

Loved the eclectic group of people interviewed for this film which ranged from movie reviewers, Drive-In theater workers, managers and owners, actors, historians and also other fans of the industry.

Each is able to give us a unique view on the history of the Drive-In theater from their own personal perspective.  We also get to hear what they think were the reasons for the successes and failures of the industry.

Kuenne has a knack for overlapping dialogue in his films and he does it expertly here which helps give the stories a more impressive feel when looking at the whole phenomena of the Drive-In.

This movie helps give us all a taste of what it was like to watch movies in the open air and is a venue which is almost completely gone, but teh memories of those who were able to experience it still live on in them and now in this film.

Bottom Line – Very compelling documentary that gives a great overview of the history of this unique venue for watching movies.  The number of people interviewed from so many aspects of the film and Drive-In industry is amazing.  Liked the way that Kuenne used his overlapping dialogue technique to give us an impressive look at the whole phenomena that was the Drive -In.  It’s easy to see the love that many people have for the memories of the almost forgotten part of Americana film watching.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Winner of the Texas Award at the USA Film Festival and Best Documentary at the Big Bear Lake International Film Festival (From IMDB)

Rating – Globe Worthy


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6 thoughts on “Drive-in Movie Memories (2001)

  1. Rob, I’ve never heard of this film, but because I have a great fondness for the drive-in movie phenomenon, I’m gonna check this one out. I’m sad that they are a vanishing breed of film adventure. Just like the art deco theater movie palace, with the curtain being drawn open as the fanfare signals the start of the film, or pre-movie theater music playing as you enter the theater. And the road show films of the 60’s, offering an intermission. they all made going to a film something really special. Where we live we’re still fortunate to l have a 5 screen drive-in, with very warm summer evenings to experience the double-bill of films—another loss to film going if you ask me. I’m grateful our kids had the chance to experience this kind of theater going adventure.


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