Monday, May 05, 2008

The Drive-In Returns!

We took Sera to see Iron Man at the drive-in on Saturday night. I previously wrote about the drive-in here, but it's such a great experience, I want to elaborate.

One of the greatest discoveries of 2007 for us was the Tri-Way Drive-In Theater. Located in Plymouth, Indiana, about a half hour drive from our house, the Tri-Way is a great entertainment option for families. It's $7.00 admission for adults for a double feature, and the concessions are both reasonably priced and delicious.

Let's put it this way: On Friday night when I went to see Iron Man at a conventional theater, I spent $10.25 for a large popcorn in a bag with a large bottle of water. At the Tri-Way, a plastic tub of popcorn and two 44 oz. sodas came to $9.00! The restaurant at the Tri-Way offers just about everything you could imagine in theater fare, from the standards including popcorn, nachos, and candy, to cheeseburgers, hot dogs, pizza, egg rolls, quesadillas, ice cream, and more. Since the drive-in, like most theaters, makes most of its money from concessions, they do charge $8.00 per vehicle to bring in your own food, so you do have the option, but believe me, it's not necessary.

Another nice thing I just discovered about the Tri-Way is that if you don't want to stay for the second feature of the two at your screen, you are free to drive over to one of the other two screens to watch the second feature there.

If you only remember drive-ins from when you were young, you really get a sense of nostalgia at this one. They still use the old advertisements for the concession stands, animated in the 1960s, complete with intermission countdowns between features. The only thing missing is the tinny speaker in your car window. The Tri-Way broadcasts the sound over FM frequencies, so you can tune in with your car radio, a boombox, or even an .mp3 player with FM reception on your earbuds.

As if to drive home the point of how it used to be to go to the movies, I noted that watching the movie at the traditional theater on Friday night was a nightmare of rudeness and inconsiderate behavior. Teenagers running up and down the stairs looking for their friends, texting each other, and talking during the movie was really annoying. There were small children asking questions in their "outdoor voices," which was distracting, to say the least. "Why's he doing that, Mommy? Is he dead? I hope he's not dead!" Bad behavior is strictly monitored at the Tri-Way. They have security people assigned to make sure that the patrons have a good time without the distraction of people who have not learned yet how to behave in the company of others. All of the employees there are patient and polite, and in today's world, the value of employees who fit that description is rare indeed.

I see a lot of nights in Plymouth in our summer's future!

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