So over the weekend, I did something I haven’t done in years… Went to the drive-in! I don’t know why I thought of it, and I didn’t even know if there was one left in LA/OC, but a short web search turned up the last drive-in movie theater in the Los Angeles area: the Pacific Vineland up in the City of Industry.
Sort of a long drive up from Garden Grove, but totally worth it to escape the unrespectful who chatter away on a cell phone, kids that won’t shut up, and the whole damn rigamarole of going to the suburban theater hive.
It was a total blast.
You can bring as much food and drinks you want. It was cheap ($6 a person). The movies were first run features (the major features at the Vineland were XXX, Signs, Goldmember, and Spy Kids 2) and are double-billed with a second run flick (like Men In Black 2). You can adjust the volume. The seats were a lot more comfortable. In short, pretty much everything I would want out of a regular theater that you can’t get anymore
So there are a couple of drawbacks… The Vineland is right next to the train tracks so there was one brief moment when we couldn’t hear because of a passing train. There’s a neighboring industrial plant that is a little over-eager with there security lighting (but that wasn’t a big deal after the initial shock). And yeah, there’s that whole rain issue, which is negligible in Los Angeles anyway.
I’ve always had a “if I won the lottery” dream of opening up a revival drive-in theater and show nothing but old black and white noir and atomic bug movies (with a gourmet concession stand), but for reality – I’m happy with the Vineland (may it live on)