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Posts Tagged ‘drive-in

“Drive-ins were actually playing a difficult game from the start; the economics of the business were counterintuitively awful”*…

 

Photographer Lindsey Rickert was just seven or eight years old when she went to her first drive-in movie. Looking back now, what she remembers most is magic of the experience itself, “laughing and playing with my friends under the big screen as the cloak of darkness surrounded us and the screen above illuminated our playground.”

Those experiences came flooding back after she chanced upon the 99W Drive-In in Newberg, Oregon, a few years ago. First opened in 1953, the 99W still shows two features a night during the warmer months, and often sells out on weekends. But it has been more fortunate than almost all of America’s other drive-ins. In June 2016, the United Drive-In Theatre Owners Association estimated there were just 324 drive-ins still in operation—down from more than 4,000 in the late 1950s.

Rickert’s chance encounter with the 99W sparked the idea to photograph drive-in theaters across the country. She spent a year planning the trip and raising money on Kickstarter before she hit the road: 12,022 miles across 32 states in 65 days. She hit 28 theaters in total—both abandoned and still in operation—and had encounters with former employees, braved bad weather, and learned why it’s important to wear boots in the tall grass. We spoke to Rickert about her ambitious project and resulting book, Drive-In America

More of the back-story, and more photos, at: “A Photographer’s Quest to Find the Last of the Drive-In Theaters.”

* Kerry Segrave, Drive-in Theaters: A History from Their Inception in 1933

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As we roll down the window to mount the speaker, we might send cinematic birthday greetings to Roberto Gastone Zeffiro Rossellini; he was born on this date in 1906.  Perhaps most widely known in the U.S. for his then-scandalous relationship with Ingrid Bergman in the 50s, Rossellini was was one of the leading directors of the Italian neorealist cinema.  His 1945 film Roma città aperta (Rome, Open City) and the other two entries in his Neorealist Trilogy (Paisà [1946] and Germany, Year Zero [1948]) are widely considered classics.

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Written by LW

May 8, 2017 at 1:01 am

The Passing of the Passion Pit (Part 2)…

Long-time readers will recall Carl Weese’s photographic homage to “soft-tops,” as drive-in movie theaters are known in the trade.  Now, following figuratively in his footsteps, Craig Deman’s “The Drive-in Project,” a record of pleasures past across the country.

See the full portfolio here.  And dive more deeply into the melancholy via this photo tour of abandoned amusement parks around the world.

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As we reach for the speaker, we might recall that it was on this date in 1982 that Grace, Princess of Monaco (née Grace Kelly) died when she suffered a stroke, then lost control of her automobile and crashed.  She had retired in 1956 from a six-year career as an actress, capped by a Academy Award for her performance in The Country Girl, to marry Prince Ranier.

Grace Kelly in “High Society” (1956)

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Written by LW

September 14, 2013 at 1:01 am

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