My family life is rich with tradition. Most of our family traditions are goofy by most people's standards, but that's o.k. Tradition gives us something to look forward to, something that we can expect. For us it would not be summer unless we drove to The County and went to the Mustang Drive-In. It is a tradition as old as our family.
We have done the drive-in every single summer since Gabe was 2 years old, that's 16 years. Before that I went to the drive -in in high school with my friends. Back then drive-ins were plentiful around here. Christopher asked me to marry him at the Guelph Drive-in (we were watching one of the original Batman movies ... but that's another story). Unless you have not caught onto this yet, WE LOVE THE DRIVE-IN!!!!!!
Here is what I love about the drive-in....
#1 It's affordable. The Mustang runs a special on Thursday nights, all the people that you can cram into your car for $15.00. Where else can you take your entire family to a movie for $15? At the big lights fancy pants movie theatre it would cost you nearly $15 a person, just to get in.
They don't care if you bring in your own food, they are just happy for your business, yes I'm sure that they would love you to buy all of your snacks at their concession stand (which are by the way, also really reasonably priced), but they are not going to invade your privacy by doing a frisk. Did I mention yet that they sell cool screens for your window at the concession stand? They do.
#2 It's Bonding Time. It takes us about an hour to drive from here to Bloomfield. We talk the whole car ride. When we get to the drive -in, Christopher takes the kids to the playground, while I wash the windshield and organize the car. When you go to the traditional movie theatre you sit in darkness, virtually alone. At the drive in, you can see everyone all around you, but still concentrate on the movie. To me it's beautiful. It's beautiful to spend that time with my kids, because they will not be kids for long, and the time is galloping towards us that they do not want to spend any time with us. I don't like it, but I am preparing for it.
#3 It' the best of both worlds. When the kids were really little we would take them for the children's movie. We would all huddle together as a family, little one's snuggled on our laps and watch the movie. When the movie was over we would make the back seat into a bed and the kids would all go to sleep while we watched the second movie. It was family night and date night all rolled into one, and we didn't have to pay a sitter.
These days the kids are all too big to sit in the car at one time. Christopher and the some of the kids like to take lawn chairs and sit in the front of the van to watch. I'm an inside the car type of a girl. I tilt my chair back and enjoy the show, and lack of bugs. This time Gracie sat in the car with me, and Elly kept running back and forth between Christopher and I, oh and yes it was annoying.
When we tell the kids that we are going to the drive-in they get ecstatically excited. The drive-in for them is a mini-holiday. The drive-in for our family is as much a part a summer as back yard fires, swimming and jumping through the sprinkler. It holds beautiful memories for me with Gabe. It holds memories for me of all the kids from infancy onward. It is a part of our summer, long live the drive-in!
I found this really neat site that lists the Drive-in Theatres in Ontario. It's really sad to see the amount of them that have closed. http://www.waybacktimes.com/drive-inlist.html The drive-in is something old, that is not well, "old". It is affordable family fun, and you should do your family a favour and visit one this summer, even if only just the once... you'll thank me.
(this is the Mustang Drive-in's Website)