7.9/10
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3 user 4 critic

Drive-in Movie Memories (2001)

This film chronicles the drive-in's birth and development, its phenomenal popularity with audiences of all ages, its tragic decline, and its inevitable comeback as a classic form of Americana.

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Cast

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Himself
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Himself (as Joe Bob Briggs)
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Jon Bokenkamp ...
Ewing Miles Brown ...
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Burton Gilliam ...
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Michael Granberry ...
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Himself (archive footage)
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Don Sanders ...
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Storyline

This film chronicles the drive-in's birth and development, its phenomenal popularity with audiences of all ages, its tragic decline, and its inevitable comeback as a classic form of Americana.

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Documentary

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31 August 2001 (USA)  »

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Budget:

$225,000 (estimated)
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1.33 : 1
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Quotes

Jon Bokenkamp: 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.
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References Harper (1966) See more »

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User Reviews

 
The passion pit...
12 January 2015 | by See all my reviews

DRIVE-IN MOVIE MEMORIES by Don and Susan Sanders (the book AND the documentary) harks back to fonder days. I grew up haunting the local drive-in (before it succumbed to Home Video and became a weekend flea market), and it's impossible to sit through a documentary like DRIVE-IN MOVIE MEMORIES (or the even sadder DRIVE-IN BLUES) without breaking down and bawling like a baby. I went for the AMBIANCE: to sit and watch the summer sun set while 50s Rock and Roll wafted from the speakers (IN THE STILL OF THE NIGHT by The Five Satins was a favorite) and kids played on the monkey bars or the merry-go-round up near the screen (where the parents could keep an eye on them). There would be trains that passed through at some point (some nights, more than once) and one would often see kids seated on the embankment between the surrounding fence and the railroad tracks, watching the movies for free (and no one bothered to run them off: they were quiet and respectful, like devotees paying homage to some ancient Vision). My favorites, of course, were the ALL-NIGHT HORRORTHONs!, which began at Dusk and ended at Dawn. It was, to coin a phrase, a FILMFAX world, where oldies like the original NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD played alongside (then) current Fright Films of varying quality. Watch movies like American HOT WAX or American GRAFFITI and you'll understand the kind of Longing documentaries like this one engender. I have an old black and white photo taped to my desk (a postcard, actually), and it's a photo we see in DRIVE-IN MOVIE MEMORIES: There's a single automobile waiting outside for the very first drive-in in this country to open. I look at that old photo and it takes me Back- not THAT far, for sure, but back to a Time when there still WERE drive-ins and on quiet Summer Nights as the sun set you could hear The Five Satins crooning IN THE STILL OF THE NIGHT.


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