Extraordinary Stories

Acting (1) Adoption (1) Adventure (753) Advertisement (3) Aging (4) Agriculture (36) Airplanes (4) Alphabet (4) Americana (71) Amish (16) Animals (26) Antiques (5) Architecture (21) Art (140) Art? (5) Arts and Crafts (66) Athletics (3) Automobiles (25) Awards (1) Banking (2) Barn raising (1) Baseball (62) Basketball (1) Beaches (84) Bed & Breakfast (1) Bee Keeping (4) Beer & Breweries (1) Birds (2) Birthdays (30) Bookbinding (3) Books (7) Boxing (1) Brother Steve (7) Buisiness (1) Business (2) Canals (1) Cancer (5) Candy (20) Caribbean Islands (2) Caribbean Villas (15) Chesapeake Bay (57) Children (15) Chocolate (1) Christmas (30) Church Adventures (106) Cigars (1) Circus (1) Civil Rights (3) Civil War (3) Classic Cars (5) Coin club (1) Collections (65) Comedy (2) Comic Books (1) Commercials (1) Comnservation (2) Conservation (32) Craftsmanship (8) Creamsicle the Cat (11) Crime (8) Crisis (266) Cruise Travel (6) Danger (10) Daughter Brynn (50) Daughter-In-Law Barb (7) Death (3) Death and Dying (30) Downsizing (2) Dunking (2) Education (30) Energy (11) Entertainment (152) Entrepreneurial (59) Eternal Life (2) Facebook (4) Factories (1) Fads (6) Family (241) Farming (23) Father (40) Father Time (65) Favorites (46) Firefighting (1) Flora and Fauna (24) Fond Memories (446) Food and Cooking (141) Food and Drink (72) Football (4) Forgetfullness (2) Former Students (5) Framing (10) Friends (313) Fun (1) Fundraiser (6) Games (1) Giving (5) Golf (3) Grandkids (120) Grandparents (2) Grandview Heights (27) Great service (2) Growing Old (3) Growing Up (172) Handwriting (3) Hat Making (2) Hawaii (45) Health and Well Being (11) Health Hazards (73) Heartbreak (4) Heroes (9) High School (124) History (502) Hockey (1) Holidays (106) Home construction (7) Horses (1) Humorous (67) Ice Cream (3) Inventions (27) Islands (2) Italy (12) Jewelry (3) Job Related (60) Just Bloggin' (54) Just Wondering (10) Juvenile Diabetes (5) Labor (3) Lancaster County (382) Law Breakers (2) LDubs In-Laws (3) Life's Lessons (151) Lists (68) Lititz (13) Love (3) Magic (1) Marching (1) Market (3) Medical (130) Memories (1) Middle School (1) Mother (49) Movies (2) Music (87) My Brother (16) My Wife (254) Neighbors (5) New Year's Day (2) Nuisance (3) Obsolescence (4) Old Age (1) Pain and Suffering (6) Panama Canal Cruise (13) Parish Resource Center (14) Patriotism (1) Penmanship (1) Pets and Animals (94) Photography (194) Playing Trains (2) Politics (27) Postal Service (1) Presidents (6) Pride (3) Printing (65) Protesting (2) Public Service (60) Questionnaire (1) Race relations (2) Reading (1) Revolutionary War (1) Rock & Roll (1) Rodents (2) Sand (1) Scouting (2) Shakespeare (1) Shopping (19) Simple Pleasures (115) Slavery (4) Small Towns (3) Snow (1) Son Derek (26) Son Tad (30) Son-In-Law Dave (22) Soup (1) Sports (124) St. Martin/Sint Maarten (249) Stained Glass (1) Story-Telling (20) Stragers (2) Strangers (1) Stress (2) Stuff (3) Surfing (1) Tattoos (1) Teaching (42) Technology (75) The Arts (3) The Beach House (62) The Shore (78) This and That (15) Timekeeping (3) Tools and Machines (23) Toys and Games (30) Track & Field (1) Tragedy (1) Trains (10) Transportation (10) Travel (2) Trending (2) TV Favorites (16) Underground Railroad (3) USA (1) Vacation and Travel (533) Vehicles (79) War (6) Watches and Watchmaking (4) Weather (47) Weddings (1) Wisdom (3) Yearbooks (4) York County (1)

Sunday, June 26, 2016

The "You Just Drove Away With The Speaker!" Story

Marque for the Columbia Drive-In
It was an ordinary day.  Carol and I were heading home from an oldies concert in Springetts- bury, PA, driving east on US Rt. 30, crossing the bridge that takes you over the Susquehanna River.  About a mile into Lancaster County, we pass a site on the right side of the highway, near the Prospect Road exit, that always brings back fond memories for us.  
Sky-Vue Drive-In in Lancaster County, PA
For years, on a clear night, you could see the movie projected on the big screen from the Columbia Drive-In Theatre.  All along the road were signs stating "No Parking" to prevent viewers from stopping and trying to watch a few minutes of the movie on the screen.  And, if I remember correctly, for some time the sound for the movie was broadcast on a specific radio station so if you did stop, you could tune in the radio and listen to the movie as well as viewing it. 
The first Drive-In movie theater in New Jersey
The Columbia Drive-In was one of three outdoor movie theaters in Lancaster County, the others being the Sky-Vue and Comet.  The drive-in era began in Lancaster County in 1952 when the Sky-Vue opened on Lincoln Highway East (Route 30).  Next came the Comet which opened in 1955 on what at the time was Rt. 230.  The Columbia opened on Columbia Avenue (now Rt. 462) a year later.  Carol and I visited all three theaters at one time or another.  Mostly "B" movies or reruns were shown on the screen.  
Cars lined up waiting for the film to begin
Many came to the drive-in to avoid having to wear good clothes or to load the car and get in for a good price or to be able to make-out all night in the car without anyone complaining about it.  The very first drive-in theater was invented and patented by Richard Hollingshead in 1933 when he opened his theater in Camden, NJ.  People paid 25 cents per car to see the British comedy Wives Beware.  
Ad for the Sky-Vue Drive-In
Eventually the X-rated movie made it's way to the outdoor screen.  I can still remember Russ Meyer's Valley of the Dolls being shown at the Columbia Drive-In and seeing the cars driving very slowly on Rt. 30E past the screen to see if they could get a glimpse of the movie.  In Lancaster County, the drive-in movie wasn't without controversial problems.  in 1962 local police visited all three theaters and fined them for showing movies on Sundays in violation of the 1794 Pennsylvania Blue Laws which prohibited showing movies on Sundays.  Then in 1970 a local state senator proposed higher fencing around the outdoor theaters to prevent non-customers from seeing the X-rated movies.  
Ad for the Columbia Drive-In
Well, the drive-in lasted 53 years in Lancaster County when the Columbia Drive-In closed in 2005.  The Sky-Vue had closed in the early 1980s while the Comet closed in 1979.  I guess Carol and my most memorable drive-in movie was perhaps the last one we went to in the late 1990's when we had both fallen asleep and after waking, decided it's time to head home.  The movie was just about over, one we had seen before, and it was getting rather chilly, so I started the car and off we went ... with the metal speaker still attached to the window.  Ripped it right off the metal post next to our parking space.  Carol said, "You just drove away with the speaker still on the car, you know."  We were both tired so I just pulled onto the highway and headed home.  Told her I would return it the next time we went to the movies.  Never happened!  Don't remember what I ever did with the speaker, but it would make a neat momento for the book shelf.  It was another extraordinary day in the life of an ordinary guy.

No comments:

Post a Comment